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Vontaze Burfict’s suspension upheld –…

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Vontaze Burfict’s suspension upheld –...

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Appeals officer Derrick Brooks upheld Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict‘s suspension for the rest of the season, the NFL announced Wednesday.

Burfict cannot return to the field until the 2020 season.

Burfict signed a one-year deal, so he is scheduled to become a free agent in March.

Burfict missed the Raiders’ game against the Bears on Sunday after an illegal hit in a Week Four game against the Colts.

Officials ejected Burfict for lowering his head to initiate contact with Colts tight end Jack Doyle while Doyle was on a knee after catching a pass.

The Raiders pleaded their case in support of Burfict, with Jon Gruden saying the linebacker had served his punishment.

Brooks heard Burfict’s appeal Tuesday and disagreed.

It marks the second time Brooks has upheld a Burfict suspension. The Hall of Famer, appointed jointly by the NFL and NFLPA, also didn’t overturn a three-game ban on Burfict for a hit on then-Steelers receiver Antonio Brown in a playoff game in the 2015 postseason.

Appeals officer James Thrash reduced Burfict’s five-game suspension in 2016 to three games.

The NFL said Burfict’s current 12-game ban was “for repeated violations of unnecessary roughness rules.”

“There were no mitigating circumstances on this play,” Jon Runyan, the NFL’s vice president of football operations, said in his suspension letter to Burfict. “Your contact was unnecessary, flagrant and should have been avoided. For your actions, you were penalized and disqualified from the game, following each of your previous rule violations. You were warned by me and each of the jointly appointed appeal officers that future violations would result in escalated accountability measures. However, you have continued to flagrantly abuse rules designated to protect yourself and your opponents from unnecessary risk.”

Vontaze Burfict’s suspension upheld

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