Indianapolis Colts' Frank Reich 'glad' Vontaze Burfict is suspended for season

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich said Monday he was “glad” Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the rest of the season for a helmet-to-helmet hit.

Reich addressed the NFL’s decision to penalize Burfict.

“That was a pretty vicious hit,” Reich told reporters, according to the Indy Star.

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“Thankfully [Jack Doyle] came out of that one clean with no [concussion] symptoms. When someone does something like that, attacks one of your players, that's just not supposed to be in the game. And when it's against one of your players, you naturally have a reaction. I'm just glad they did what they did at the game and the follow-up action seems very appropriate.”

The league’s decision to suspend Burfict had much to do with the linebacker’s history of discipline with the league. He has been suspended and fined multiple times for a myriad of reasons.

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

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“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. Your extensive history of rules violations is factored into this decision regarding accountability measures.”

Colts tight end Jack Doyle caught a pass from Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett and was getting up from the ground when Burfict rushed in to tackle him. Burfict clearly led with his helmet and nailed Doyle in his helmet on the play, which immediately drew a penalty flag and ejection.

Burfict was already jogging toward the locker room before he was officially ejected.

The veteran has racked up more than $4 million in fines and has been suspended 10 times due to the apparent headhunting on the field. Those penalties came when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Raiders signed Burfict to a 1-year, $2 million contract in the offseason. It included a $300,000 signing bonus and $300,000 in guaranteed money, according to Spotrac.

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Oakland eventually went on to win the game over Indianapolis, 31-24.