The N.F.L. upheld its season-long suspension of Vontaze Burfict, the Oakland Raiders linebacker who was suspended without pay after he hit a defenseless Indianapolis Colts player in Week 4.
The suspension for 12 regular-season games, as well as any playoff games, is the longest suspension ever given for on-field actions.
The appeals officer Derrick Brooks, who was appointed by the N.F.L. and the N.F.L. Players Association, agreed with the league’s vice president for football operations, Jon Runyan, who suspended Burfict for an “unnecessary, flagrant” helmet-to-helmet hit on tight end Jack Doyle of the Colts on Sept. 29.