WATCH: Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict handed longest ever NFL suspension for on-field hit

Vontaze Burfict of the Oakland raiders has been suspended for the rest of the NFL season
Vontaze Burfict of the Oakland raiders has been suspended for the rest of the NFL season

Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been suspended for the rest of the 2019 season by the NFL after a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle on Sunday.

The Raiders are due to play the Chicago bears are Tottenham's new stadium on Sunday, but instead of playing in London, Burfict will now have to sit out the rest of the season.

Burfict was thrown out of the Raiders' 31-24 win after smashing into a defenceless Doyle, and the league has now reacted by handing out the longest ever suspension for an on-field incident.

Burfict has a history of late hits and cheap shots and has twice before been banned for illegal hits, and his previous transgressions were taken into account by the NFL when handing out the sentence.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote to Burfict explaining the decision, which means he will not be paid during his suspension.

"There were no mitigating circumstances on this play," read the 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 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."

29-year-old Burfict is in his first season with the Raiders after spending seven years with the Cincinnati Bengals - where he picked up 13 suspensions and fines for numerous offences.

Burfict's agent says that he plans to appeal the decision, or at least the length of the suspension, because "the play that triggered the suspension was a football play."

Colts coach Frank Reich reacted to the move by saying it was the right thing to do for the league to get rid of Burfict for at least the rest of the season.

"When someone does something like that, attacks one of your players, it's not supposed to be in the game," Reich said. "Glad they did what they did. Actions feel very appropriate."

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