Broncos’ Kareem Jackson has ban cut to 2 games after appeal

Jeff LegwoldESPN Senior WriterOct 24, 2023, 07:47 PM ET2 Minute Read

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The NFL announced Tuesday that Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson’s suspension for violating unnecessary roughness rules has been reduced from four games to two games.

Michael Signora, spokesperson for the NFL, made the reduction announcement following Jackson’s meeting with appeals hearing officer Derrick Brooks, who was appointed jointly by the NFL and NFL Players Association.

As a result of the reduction, Jackson will be eligible to rejoin the active roster on Nov. 14, the day after the team’s game against the Buffalo Bills. However, he will miss the upcoming game against the Kansas City Chiefs, as well as the game against the Bills following the bye week.

Jackson’s suspension stems from his ejection in Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers for a sideline hit on Packers tight end Luke Musgrave in the fourth quarter. This marks the second time this season that Jackson has been ejected for an illegal hit.

In a letter to Jackson, vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote, “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.” Runyan also noted that Jackson has a history of player-safety violations.

Before Sunday’s game, Jackson had been fined four times this season for unnecessary roughness, totaling $89,670. He was also ejected from a Week 2 loss to the Washington Commanders after a hit on tight end Logan Thomas.

Coach Sean Payton commented on the situation, saying, “I just know where he’s at as a player; we’ll keep working on that. I know he’ll keep working on it. He’s someone that’s smart and really wants to do the right thing. It’s one of the toughest parts of our game for the officials, for the players, for all of us involved of getting that to where it’s clear and easy. Sometimes, it’s just not.”

The original four-game suspension was the longest punishment for violating player-safety rules since 2019, when Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was indefinitely suspended for hitting Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with Rudolph’s own helmet. Garrett eventually missed six games before being reinstated.

In 2019, Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the remainder of the season (12 games at the time) for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle.


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