Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been suspended for the rest of the 2019 season for his helmet-to-helmet hit Sunday on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle, the league announced.

Burfict was ejected in the second quarter of the Raiders' 31-24 win. He was initially flagged for hitting Doyle in the head across the middle. But after the officials conferred, Burfict was thrown out.

“There were no mitigating circumstances on this play,” NFL Vice President of football operations Jon Runyan said in a letter to Burfict announcing the suspension. “Your contact was unnecessary, flagrant and should have been avoided. For your actions, you were penalized and disqualified from the game.

The league said that Burfict will be not be paid during the suspension, which covers the postseason as well. The league cited his repeated violations of unnecessary roughness rules in handing out the longest suspension ever for an on-field incident.

Burfict has the right under the collective bargaining agreement to appeal the punishment in the next three days. He had one of his previous suspensions reduced from five games to three games on an appeal in 2017.

It’s that history that led to the most severe punishment the NFL has handed out when it comes to player safety, topping the five games Tennessee’s Albert Haynesworth got in 2006 for kicking and stomping on Cowboys center Andre Gurode’s face, leading to 30 stitches.

Burfict had served two three-game suspensions already in his career and had been warned about severe punishment for future infractions.

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Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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