Thu Oct 17 6:01pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
In this July 29, 2019, file photo, Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict attends NFL football training camp in Napa, Calif. Oakland defensive coordinator Paul Guenther lashed out at the NFL for the severe suspension the league handed Burfict for his latest infraction for a helmet-to-helmet hit. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Oakland defensive coordinator Paul Guenther lashed out at the NFL for the lengthy suspension the league handed to Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict for a helmet-to-helmet hit, one of a series of violations for which he has been punished.
Burfict was suspended for the final 12 games of the regular season and the playoffs for the hit to the head of Indianapolis tight end Jack Doyle on Sept. 29. It was longest suspension ever handed down by the league for an on-field infraction.
Burfict appealed the penalty hoping to get it reduced but that was denied last week by appeals officer Derrick Brooks. The previous longest suspension was five games handed to Tennessee's Albert Haynesworth in 2006 for kicking and stomping on Cowboys center Andre Gurode's face, leading to 30 stitches.
''I think it was a witch hunt from the beginning quite honestly,'' Guenther said Thursday. ''Somebody at the league didn't want him playing football and they got what they wanted.''
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan handed down the penalty to punish Burfict severely for ''repeated violations of unnecessary roughness rules'' after the hit on Doyle. It was the third time Burfict has been suspended for a dangerous hit on the field to go along with several others that led to fines.
The suspension is without pay, costing Burfict more than $1.1 million in salary and per game active roster bonuses.
Guenther said he's most upset about the lack of a clear standard and that he and the team will keep a close eye on other infractions to see if they are dealt with the same way.
''Now they've opened up a whole can or worms as far as the next guy who is going to do this,'' he said. ''We have to make sure if we do this to this one guy, this one guy driving 38 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone, a cop looking for one guy doing it, then all the players should be held to the same one standard. To me that's where I have the issue.''
During his time in Cincinnati, Burfict was repeatedly suspended by the NFL for egregious hits and violating its policy on performance-enhancers. He was fined regularly for hits that crossed the line, most notably the one to Antonio Brown's head that helped the Steelers rally for an 18-16 playoff win in the 2015 season. That led to a three-game suspension to start the 2016 season.
Burfict then was penalized with a five-game suspension for a blind-side block against Kansas City fullback Anthony Sherman in the 2017 preseason. The suspension was later reduced to three games.
Burfict was also fined $112,000 last season for hits on Brown and James Conner in a game against Pittsburgh.
Despite that history, Burfict said after signing with the Raiders that he disputes accusations that he is a ''dirty'' player.
But it was that history that led to this punishment, with Runyan telling Burfict in a letter that he ''continued to flagrantly abuse rules designated to protect yourself and your opponents from unnecessary risk.''
''Does it make any sense to sign a guy if after one infraction he's going to get thrown out of the league for a year? No, it doesn't,'' Guenther said. ''I think it's very unfair. It's unfair to our team and unfair to Vontaze.''
San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida (ankle) aggravated his lingering ankle injury in Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks. Breida was stuffed for just 18 yards on 10 carries while netting two catches for seven yards. Its unclear if he was limited all game, but backup runner Raheem Mostert was the primary change-of-pace back for Tevin Coleman in the second half. Breida is no stranger to playing hurt but hell have a short week to heal before facing the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11. Hell be a flex candidate if he suits up.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne caught four of eight targets for 42 yards and a touchdown in Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks. Bourne was rewarded with a 10-yard touchdown in the first quarter and received extra playing time throughout with wideout Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) exiting early. The third-year pro now has touchdowns in consecutive games but doesnt have the volume or pedigree to be a sustainable fantasy asset. Even if Sanders misses time, Bournes not someone to chase on the waiver wire.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo struggled in Week 10s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, completing just 24 of 46 passes for 248 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Jimmy G was under duress all evening, with defensive end Jadeveon Clowney manhandling the Niners offensive line. Garoppolo absorbed five sacks and lost two fumbles, one returned by Clowney for a touchdown. Without tight end George Kittle (knee) and wideout Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) exiting midgame, Garoppolo struggled with his makeshift receiving corps outside of rookie wideout Deebo Samuels who popped with 112 yards. It was another sloppy game for Garoppolo, whos struggled with consistency all season. With several chances to win the game, Garoppolo looked extremely shaky and lacked command of the hurry-up offense. Hell be a QB2 in an attractive Week 11 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel cradled eight of 12 targets for 112 yards in Week 10s loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Without tight end George Kittle (knee) and wideout Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) banged up, Samuel emerged as the premier aerial threat, hogging targets and repeatedly making clutch plays. His long went for 30 yards. Samuel has struggled to separate from the Niners crowded receiving corps this year, but he could be forced into a lead role if Sanders injury is serious. The talent is undeniable. Hell be a popular waiver wire add this week and is an upside WR4 against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11.
The San Francisco 49ers Defense played exceptionally well in Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks despite taking the loss. The Niners defense confirmed its dominance against MVP candidate quarterback Russell Wilson, bagging five sacks and recovering three fumbles including a touchdown return by defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw picked off Wilson in overtime and put the team in position to win, but kicker Chase McLaughlin shanked the potential game-winning kick. Even with the loss, the 49ers remain an unquestionable weekly must-start and should be a top-five fantasy defense in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals.
San Francisco 49ers kicker Chase McLaughlin knocked in three of four field goals and an extra point in Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks. McLaughlin was poised to play hero after crushing a 47-yard field goal to tie the game in regulation, but instantly reverted to scapegoat by badly shanking the would-be 47-yard game-winner attempt in overtime. The rookie was signed this week as a short-term replacement for Robbie Gould (quad) and is a probable cut candidate once Gould is healthy. Nothing to see here fantasy-wise.
San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman raced for 40 yards on nine carries and added four catches for 32 yards in Week 10s loss against the Seattle Seahawks. Coleman and the Niners running attack was mostly contained, but he made a few clutch grabs to help the Niners push the contest to overtime. The fifth-year back was once again the leader of the rushing committee and with Matt Breida (ankle) banged up, Coleman could be poised for more work in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals. Hell be a borderline RB1 in a great matchup this coming Sunday.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) tallied two grabs for 24 yards before exiting in the second quarter with a rib injury. Its uncertain when Sanders suffered the injury but he was ruled out at halftime. Its a tough break for the 10-year pro who had emerged as the clear No. 1 receiver since joining San Francisco. His practice regimen on a short week will determine his availability in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals.
Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson was benched by head coach Kliff Kingsbury in the Week 10 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in favor of RB Kenyan Drake. Johnson lost a fumble in the third quarter and Kingsbury like what he saw from Drake. 'We just felt like with Drake, needed to get something going and kept him rolling,' Kingsbury said Monday, Nov. 11. 'The last couple weeks, practices, games (he) has brought a little pop to the run game, the pass game, and we felt like he was the guy to try and close the game out with.'
Fantasy Spin: Kingsbury added that the decision was his and had nothing to do with Johnson's recent rash of injuries. He said he'll figure out the best role for both Johnson and Drake over the next few weeks. It's bad news for Johnson's fantasy owners, as he already has struggled to live up to his early-round draft status.
Arizona Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds (hamstring) has missed the past two games, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he is uncertain for Week 11 against the San Francisco 49ers. 'I would expect him hopefully in the near future,' Kingsbury said.
Fantasy Spin: Edmonds will return to the crowded backfield with Kenyan Drake and David Johnson both considered the top two backs. He had his chance to shine in New York when Johnson was hurt and Drake not yet on the team, but he was injured and will now return to a logjam with minimal fantasy appeal.
Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers WR Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) will not return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks due to an injury suffered to his ribs in the first half.
Fantasy Spin: With Sanders on the shelf it will be Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis and Deebo Samuel expected to pick up the slack in the pass game among the tight ends, especially with leading receiver TE George Kittle also inactive.
San Francisco 49ers DT D.J. Jones (groin) has been ruled out for the rest of the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday, Nov. 11 after suffering a groin injury in the first half.
Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (hamstring) suffered a hamstring injury in the first half of the Week 10 game against the San Francisco 49ers and he will not return.
San Francisco 49ers WR Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) suffered an apparent injury to his right rib cage area in the first half of the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks. He pulled up on a route and was seen grabbing at the area during the telecast before leaving for the locker room. Sanders is questionable to return.
Fantasy Spin: It's a shame for Sanders and the 49ers, who just acquired him. Kendrick Bourne and Deebo Samuel should see more targets among the wideouts.
San Francisco 49ers DT D.J. Jones (groin) left the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks in the first half due to a groin injury and he is questionable to return.
Kansas City Chiefs DE Emmanuel Ogbah (pectoral) is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery this week to repair a torn pectoral muscle he suffered in Week 10, according to a source.
Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson (calf) is considered day-to-day because of the calf injury he suffered in Week 10.
Los Angeles Rams WR Brandin Cooks (concussion) will not be able to play in the Week 11 game.
Fantasy Spin: Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds will continue to be the top three receivers for the Rams. Woods and Kupp are must-start options in fantasy leagues, but Reynolds could be benched if fantasy players have better options available.
Minnesota Vikings CB Trae Waynes (ankle) is expected to be available for the Week 11 game after he was inactive for Week 10.