Report: NFL Reinstated Vontaze Burfict in January After His 12-Game Suspension

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The NFL reinstated Vontaze Burfict last month after his 12-game suspension, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

Burfict served the suspension following his helmet-to-helmet hit against Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle in Week 4 last season. Pelissero reports the NFL "quietly reinstated" the former Oakland Raiders linebacker, who is working out in hopes of returning to play in 2020.

Burfict is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and he is working out daily at his alma mater Arizona State. His former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis now serves as the Sun Devils' co-defensive coordinator. The linebacker played for the Bengals for seven seasons before signing with the Raiders.

"Vontaze has spent the entire off season studying and learning the proper code of conduct for participation in the NFL," Burfict's agent, Peter Schaffer, said in a statement to Pelissero. "This is a serious issue not only for Vontaze but all players and he is serious about doing things the right way and being a leader in playing football the right way."

The NFL issued such a long suspension to Burfict given his long history of questionable hits. He has repeatedly been fined in the league for bad behavior, racking up millions of dollars in lost salary due to fines and forfeited game checks.

Burfict's suspension last season marked his fourth during his NFL career, and his third ban for on-field incidents. The league suspended him for three games in 2016 after multiple violations of player safety rules. In 2017, Burfict served another three-game suspension for a hit to a defenseless player. He was also banned for four games in 2018 for violating the NFL's PED policy.