Vontaze Burfict went head-hunting Sunday, hammering Jack Doyle with a helmet-to-helmet hit after the Colts tight end already had been whistled dead.
The Raiders middle linebacker was ejected from the game, and subsequently suspended for the rest of the season. He is appealing the suspension.
The outrage over Burfict's hit on Doyle, as well as the one Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones laid on Bills quarterback Josh Allen, was tantamount to a tidal wave. Jones was flagged for his hit, but was not ejected and did not receive further punishment.
While most people took issue with both hits, former Rams, Patriots and Eagles defensive end Chris Long and 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman disagreed with the outrage. In fact, Sherman blamed the current state of society for Burfict being ejected from the game.
Allen sized up tacklers, trying to get a crucial first. Lowers shoulders. Jones hit him in the head. Flag. That’s totally fair. But let’s all chill w the outrage on every hit. There are a few worth going off on.— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) September 29, 2019
It’s just a soft society now. The Burfict hit was old school. If you don’t want to get hit then stay on the ground. Every hit now is “he should be suspended or kicked out”— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) September 29, 2019
Or he could stay down. If you get up you are live— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) September 29, 2019
For his part, Doyle said he didn't believe the hit was dirty. Colts coach Frank Reich, however, had a different view of the decision, telling the media he was glad Burfict was banned Monday.
Sherman's critique, of course, comes from the mind of a defensive player who sees the current rule changes going a little too far. But Burfict's hit, regardless of intent, was dangerous and his long history over dirty hits and physical play deem he should get some punishment. The ejection, however, might have been good enough.
The Raiders will have to find a way to adjust with Burfict, their defensive leader, now out until his appeal can be heard.
Sherman's 49ers, meanwhile, will look to stay undefeated when they host the Cleveland Browns on "Monday Night Football" in Week 5.