The NFL is suspending Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson four games for unnecessary roughness after he was ejected from Sunday’s game for a hit he made on Green Bay Packers tight end Luke Musgrave, according to a league statement.
NFL suspended Broncos’ safety Kareem Jackson four games. This hit was involved. pic.twitter.com/ZXnU8jyfSI
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 23, 2023
“On the play in question, you delivered a forceful blow to the head/neck area of a defenseless receiver, when you had the time and space to avoid such contact. You could have made contact with your opponent within the rules, yet you chose not to,” NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan told Jackson per the statement.
Runyan also noted that Jackson has had multiple offenses for personal fouls this season, highlighting a week two hit against the Washington Commanders’ Logan Thomas, for which he was also ejected.
Denver’s Kareem Jackson was just fined $15k for a Week 1 hit that concussed Raiders WR Jakobi Meyers. Now he launches himself into Washington’s Logan Thomas for a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit.
Jackson ejected – NFL cannot tolerate these hits. pic.twitter.com/yZoP3ADQZ1
— Concussion Legacy Foundation (@ConcussionLF) September 17, 2023
The four games suspension for Jackson is the most severe punishment for any player since 2019, when the NFL suspended notorious repeat (repeat) offender Vontaze Burfict for 12 games, according to NFL Research.
Jackson will reportedly appeal the suspension, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported.
I understand the NFL wanting to promote player safety but this is crazy. That play was worth a flag and nothing more. There was no overt intention there to do anything but knock the ball loose.
Given Broncos head coach Sean Payton’s history — he was suspended for the entire 2012 season after allegedly paying his players to injure the opposing team’s best players in the infamous Bountygate scandal — I can’t help but think the NFL is over-legislating here.
Jackson has had multiple suspensions in the past, which is obviously a factor, but four games is basically a quarter of the season for a play that every defensive back has been coached to make since they were playing Pop Warner. (RELATED: Why Is Deshaun Watson Still Questionable?)
I’m hoping the independent arbiters have some sense here and at least knock off a game or two from the suspension so Jackson can recoup some game checks and pay those hefty fines that are undoubtedly coming.
How that appeal will go may come down to who gets chosen to hear it. His appeal will be heard by either former superstar linebacker Derrick Brooks or former Redskins (yes, back then they were the Redskins) receiver James Thrash, per the NFL statement.
Brooks was one of the most terrifying defenders in NFL history, delivering a countless number of punishing hits on unsuspecting opponents that would no doubt be deemed illegal today. Thrash … was a receiver.
For Jackson’s sake, let’s hope it’s Brooks who gets to hear him out.