The NFL is suspending Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson for four games without pay after he hit Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs on Sunday night.
The league announced the suspension Monday afternoon, citing “repeated violations of the rules of the game designed to protect the health and safety of players.” The suspension is Jackson’s second of the season for repeated illegal blows to his opponents’ heads.
Jackson plans to appeal the suspension. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
Jackson lowered his helmet and hit Dobbs with his facemask on the first possession of Denver’s 21-20 win. The hit helped dislodge the ball, resulting in a forced turnover for the Broncos, who converted the fumble into a field goal.
Officers did not charge Jackson with the illegal attack.
The NFL announced the suspension along with a letter to Jackson from Jon Runyan, vice president of football operations.
“At 13:38 of the first quarter, you were involved in a play that the league considers a serious violation of the rules of the game,” Runyan wrote. “The video of the play shows that you lowered your head and made forceful contact with him,” Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs. You had an unobstructed path to your opponent and the illegal contact could have been avoided.
“Illegal actions that are blatant and endanger the safety of players will not be tolerated. The league will continue to emphasize enforcement of rules prohibiting the use of the helmet for forceful contact with the opponent. On the play in question, you lowered your head and delivered a forceful blow to an opponent’s shoulder and head/neck area, despite having time and space to avoid such contact. You could have made contact with your opponent within the rules, but you chose not to.”
The NFL previously suspended Jackson for four games in October after he was ejected for the second time this season in a win over the Green Bay Packers. The league later reduced that suspension to two games on appeal. Sunday’s game against the Vikings was Jackson’s first game back. He committed the illegal hit three snaps after returning from suspension.
During Denver’s Week 7 win over the Packers, Jackson lowered his head and dove toward Green Bay tight end Luke Musgrave, causing Musgrave’s head to snap back violently. He was sent off for the hit and suspended a day later.
Jackson was previously sent off for a hit in Week 2 that rocked Washington Commanders tight end Logan Thomas. Jackson threw himself at Thomas with the crown of his helmet to block the ball.
The NFL fined Jackson $19,669 for the hit on Thomas but did not suspend him. In Week 1, Jackson was cited for unnecessary roughness on a helmet-to-helmet hit that caused a concussion to Las Vegas Raiders receiver Jakobi Meyers.
That hit resulted in a $14,819 fine. In total, Jackson was fined $89,670 for four illegal hits this season.