Editor’s update 11:51 a.m.: The NFL announced on Monday that Vontaze Burfict has been suspended for the remainder of the season for repeated violations of unnecessary roughness rules. He has three business days to submit an appeal.
Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontze Burfict has long had a reputation for being a dirty player, and his latest situation could end his 2019 season only four games in. Burfict dove head-first into Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle and collided on a helmet-to-helmet hit. It was an entirely unnecessary play, and he was quickly ejected from the game.
Now, Burfict could be facing a season-long suspension, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. He has served two multi-game suspensions previously, so moving up to a full year is not a surprising development.
Fantasy analysis: The Raiders pass defense has been abysmal, but they rank in the middle of the pack in rushing defense efficiency. When not making illegal hits, Burfict is a talented playmaker. He should not be in the NFL, and it looks like that will be the case for the foreseeable future. His suspension further weakens the Raiders defense and opens the door for fantasy running backs.
The Raiders host David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, and the Bears in Week 5, and then travel to face Aaron Jones and the Packers and Carlos Hyde and the Texans after a Week 6 bye. A single player does not make a run defense, but losing talent — particularly the middle linebacker — will shake up the unit.