Kareem Jackson, safety of the Denver Broncos, has been suspended for four games by the NFL for his second violation of the rules this season. The suspension was handed out after he lowered his helmet and hit Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs on Sunday night, causing a fumble that led to the Broncos’ first score in their 21-20 win. However, the hit was not initially flagged on the field.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations, Jon Runyan, informed Jackson of the suspension in a letter today. He cited the hit as a serious violation of the playing rules and stated that it was a flagrant and illegal act that could have been avoided. Despite having an unobstructed path to Dobbs, Jackson delivered a forceful blow to the shoulder and head/neck area when he had time and space to avoid such contact.
This is not Jackson’s first suspension for this type of violation. In fact, it was his first game back from a two-game suspension for previous violations of the same rule against leading with the helmet. That suspension had initially been announced as a four-game suspension but was reduced to two games on appeal. It is likely that Jackson will appeal this suspension as well, given his history of doing so.
Throughout this season, Jackson has been ejected from two games and fined four times for illegal hits. This pattern of behavior suggests that at some point, he will have to change his play style in order to continue playing in the NFL without getting suspended again.