League rejects Burfict’s appeal of suspension

Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict’s appeal to overturn his suspension for the rest of the season for a helmet-to-helmet hit was denied Wednesday.

Appeals officer Derrick Brooks ruled he would not reduce the longest suspension ever handed down for an on-field infraction. Brooks is appointed jointly by the NFL and the NFLPA and heard Burfict’s appeal of the ban for the final 12 games of the regular season and the playoffs.

Brooks upheld the decision handed down last week by NFL Vice President of football operations Jon Runyan to punish Burfict severely for “repeated violations of unnecessary roughness rules” after the latest hit on Indianapolis tight end Jack Doyle on Sept. 29. 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.

Jags’ Ramsey practices for first time in 3 weeks

JACKSONVILLLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey practiced for the first time in three weeks Wednesday, rejoining teammates two days after seeing a back specialist.

Ramsey participated in a limited capacity, taking part in individual drills before spending the rest of the session working with team trainers on the side.

It remains to be seen whether Ramsey plays Sunday against New Orleans (4-1) and the NFL’s leading receiver, Michael Thomas.

Ramsey requested a trade last month following a heated argument with Marrone on the sideline in Houston and a much-less-public exchange with personnel chief Tom Coughlin after the game.

Coach Doug Marrone said the Jaguars (2-3) are taking Ramsey’s potential return “step by step.”

Ramsey missed seven consecutive practices because of illness, back tightness and the birth of his second daughter. His back caused him to miss the past two games. He saw a specialist in Houston on Monday.

Chargers place Pouncey on IR, cite neck injury

COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Los Angeles Chargers have been consistent in the one area teams want to avoid — injuries.

The Chargers were dealt another setback Wednesday when center Mike Pouncey was placed on injured reserve due to a neck injury. Coach Anthony Lynn said Pouncey will have season-ending surgery but did not want to speculate on whether it was career threatening.

Pouncey came out during the first half of last Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the Denver Broncos. Lynn said that it didn’t sound like one play caused the injury, but that this was something the nine-year veteran had been dealing with for some time and that he had been playing through it.

Pouncey is the fourth starter to be placed on either injured reserve or the non-football illness list. Through the first five weeks, the Chargers have had 14 players who are either starters or significant contributors miss a total of 36 games because of injuries or holdouts.

— The Associated Press