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Appeal denied: Kareem Jackson to serve 4-game suspension from NFL

Broncos veteran safety will have missed six games over a seven-game period. He was ejected from two other games, all because of flagrant-type hits.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos safety Kareem Jackson had his appeal of a four-game suspension denied Tuesday by hearing officer Derrick Brooks.

It was the second time in four weeks Brooks heard Jackson's appeal of a four-game suspension without pay he received from NFL vice president of operation Jon Runyan, who disciplined the Broncos' safety for repeated unnecessary roughness hits. Four weeks ago, Brooks reduced Jackson's suspension to two games without pay.

Brooks showed no such mercy the second time. Jackson had just been reinstated from his 2-game suspension when on his very first defensive series he led with his helmet to make "forcible contact" with Minnesota quarterback Josh Dobbs in a game Sunday night at Empower Field at Mile High. Although Dobbs was a running back on the play, that wasn't the issue. The problem was how Jackson used his helmet as a weapon, at least in the eyes of the league.

Jackson will miss the Broncos' games against Cleveland this Sunday, at Houston on Dec. 3, at the Los Angeles Chargers on Dec. 10 and at the Detroit Lions on Dec. 17.

He can return for the Broncos' Christmas Eve home game against the New England Patriots. Jackson will now have missed six games over a seven-game period and was ejected from two other   

Working against Jackson's latest appeal was his five prior offenses. He was fined on four different unnecessary roughness penalties this season totaling $89,670 (a source told 9NEWS a portion of each fine was reduced upon appeal). Jackson was also ejected from two games and a fifth offense drew a four-game suspension that was reduced upon appeal to two games, which cost Jackson two game checks totaling $279,444.

Jackson will now forfeit another $558,883 in four game checks. Total pay out from Jackson's hits: $927,997.

Runyan wrote in a letter Monday to Jackson: 

With 13:38 remaining in the first quarter, you were involved in a play that the League considers a serious violation of the playing rules. The video of the play shows that you lowered your head and made forcible contact to Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs.  You had an unobstructed path to your opponent and the illegal contact could have been avoided.

  “Illegal acts that are flagrant and jeopardize the safety of players will not be tolerated. The League will continue to stress enforcement of the rules that prohibit using your helmet to make forcible contact with your opponent.  On the play in question, you lowered your head and delivered a forceful blow to the shoulder and head/neck area of an opponent when you had time and space to avoid such contact.  You could have made contact with your opponent within the rules, yet you chose not to."

The safety who started in Jackson's place during his two-game suspension, P.J. Locke, missed the game Sunday night against the Vikings because of a left ankle injury. Dellarin Turner-Yell is the Broncos' other backup safety who has started two games this season. 

Jackson in 2010 was a first-round draft pick as a cornerback of the Houston Texans, where he played 9 seasons. He made the full-time switch to safety starting with the Broncos in 2019. This is his fifth season with the Broncos.

Small by safety standards at 5-foot-10, 183 pounds, Jackson's tackling style is not to wrap his arms around the opposing ball carrier or receiver but to unload his body while leading with a shoulder pad.

Credit: AP Photo/Jack Dempsey
Kareem Jackson on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Denver. denver broncos


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