Raiders quarterback Derek Carr defended teammate Vontaze Burfict on Wednesday after the linebacker was suspended for the remainder of 2019.
Burfict was ejected on Sunday for his hit to the head of Colts tight end Jack Doyle. He was suspended on Monday for the entire season, his fourth suspension in the last four seasons. Burfict was suspended three games for safety violations in 2017, then suspended three additional games in 2018 for an illegal hit on a defenseless player.
"I don't think he was trying to hurt [Doyle]; the man was going down," Carr told reporters in London on Wednesday. "We see other people hitting people in the helmet, and they're going to play this Sunday. And Vontaze Burfict won't play the rest of the year? I think that's a little excessive, if you ask me. ... He's a great person, his heart is broken because he's not playing football. The guy just wants to play football. We don't get a lot of time to play this game in our lives."
Head coach Jon Gruden told the media on Wednesday he had already discussed Burfict's suspension with NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan.
"He knows how I feel—it hurts our team really bad," Gruden said. "And I'm anxious to see what the appeal says. I'm not happy about it. At all."
Burfict has tallied 23 personal fouls since 2012, the most in the NFL. He's accrued $469,118 in fines, per ESPN's Paul Gutierrez.
The Raiders enter Week 5 second in the AFC West at 2–2. They face the Bears in London on Sunday, with kickoff from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium slated for 1 p.m. ET.