Vontaze Burfict is set to appeal the NFL’s ruling that he will be suspended for the rest of the 2019 season due to a “dirty hit” on Indianapolis Colts’ tight end, Jack Doyle. This is far from the first time the Oakland Raiders linebacker will have faced suspension for a similar offense. His history is most likely what caused the NFL to hit him with such a stiff penalty.
Burfict is not going to go down without a fight and his agent, Lamont Smith, has already taken to Twitter to call out the NFL.
“Watching monday night football and I had to comment. I guess the hit on Kyle Juszczyk and the one on Mason Rudolph we’re not helmet to helmet. #vontazeburfict #Raider nation #NFL #The standard is the standard! #No hate!” Tweeted Smith.
There have been a number of hits that look “illegal” in the time since Burfict received his suspension, but the perpetrators of those hits have yet to receive any punishment. While it seems justifiable that having a long history of making illegal hits would mean you would get a stiffer penalty if you slip up again. However, what isn’t justifiable is players getting no penalty at all for hits that were clearly more brutal than what Burfict is getting suspended for.
The Two Hits That Lamont Smith Is Referencing [WATCH]
The first hit that Smith was referencing was the scary hit on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Mason Rudolph, who was left completely unconscious. Earl Thomas was the one who made the hit and could still get fined, but a suspension is unlikely.
The second hit Smith was talking about came during Monday Night Football when San Francisco 49ers fullback, Kyle Juszczyk, was knocked out of the game from a helmet-to-helmet hit by Cleveland Brown safety, Jermaine Whitehead. It’s still too soon to know if Whitehead will see any punishment for the hit.
Now, it would be irresponsible to say that either hit was intentional. This is football and these kinds of things happen all the time. Nobody wants to see a young player’s body go lifeless after a hit. The same should be said about Burfict. He’s an aggressive football player and he’s always been that way. He should play smarter, but he’s not intentionally trying to hurt anybody.
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Does Vontaze Burfict Have Any Chance of Winning His Appeal?
If Burfict loses his appeal on Tuesday, he could be done in the NFL. Things aren’t looking good as the NFL clearly has it out for him and has found a second instance of an “illegal” hit from the game versus the Indianapolis Colts. The odds are certainly against him. Smith and Burfict can point to other instances of bad looking hits not leading to suspension all they want, but a lot of those players don’t have the linebacker’s track record. While many in the media will cheer if Burfict is kept out of football for 2019, his teammates have his back.
“I don’t think he was trying to hurt [Doyle]; the man was going down,” Derek Carr told reporters back when the suspension was handed out. “We see other people hitting people in the helmet, and they’re going to play this Sunday. And Vontaze Burfict won’t play the rest of the year? I think that’s a little excessive, if you ask me. … He’s a great person, his heart is broken because he’s not playing football. The guy just wants to play football. We don’t get a lot of time to play this game in our lives.”