The Colts’ tight end was in a precarious position after making a catch that took him down to his knees. As Doyle began to rise and attempt to gain more yardage before being touched, Burfict clearly targeted Doyle’s head by lowering his helmet.
The play resulted in a personal foul being called on the field, but soon after the play was under review, and it was quite obvious that New York made that call as soon as they witnessed the play.
Not only was this a defender targeting a defenseless receiver — who was on his knees — but it was also Burfict, and the league has very little patience with the linebacker who has been an issue since entering the league.
Vontaze Burfict was ejected for this hit on Jack Doyle pic.twitter.com/vFply5QOKN— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) September 29, 2019
New York just called. "Get Burfict out of that game!"— Matt Danely (@MDanelySB) September 29, 2019
Burfict was an undrafted free agent despite clearly being one of the most talented linebackers in the 2012 NFL Draft largely due to his spotty track record from college. Burfict has always been a very good player, but since entering the league his illegal and vicious hits on opponents.
Now, as a direct result of his hit on Doyle, Burfict has been suspended for the remainder of the 2019 season according to Ian Rapoport.
Here is the official announcement on #Raiders LB Vontaze Burfict, who is suspended without pay for the rest of 2019. Jon Runyan wrote: “There were no mitigating circumstances on this play.” pic.twitter.com/DdoXyTb5ax— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 30, 2019
Something that is also interesting is that these two following tweets from Ian and Gregg Rosenthal seem to differ a bit regardless of them being employed by the NFL. Not that the slight variations matter much between them, what matters is that the league was swift in getting a known, serial offender of the player protection rules out of the game for the year.
Colts fans can take solace that Burfict flew from Indy to London, got through customs to team hotel, then got word he’s headed back to Oakland.— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) September 30, 2019
#Raiders LB Vontaze Burfict is currently in London with the team. While the appeal is pending, he’s not permitted to practice or participate in any football activity.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 30, 2019
I don’t know anyone who cares if they ever see Burfict on the field again, but it will be interesting to see how quickly the NFL declines Burfict’s appeal in the matter.