This marks the second suspension this season for Jackson, who was previously suspended for four games after Denver’s Week 7 tilt against the Packers, but had the ban reduced to two games on appeal. He was also ejected for an illegal hit in Week 2 against the Commanders.
The play in question occurred early into the first quarter of the Broncos’ win over Minnesota when the 35-year-old hit quarterback Josh Dobbs while leading with the crown of his helmet. Officials did not flag Jackson on the play.
In a message to Jackson, the NFL’s Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan criticized his decision to lower his head to make the tackle, saying that he had an unobstructed path to make the play without doing so.
“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,” wrote Runyan, via Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Terry McAulay said on the NBC broadcast that Kareem Jackson should’ve been penalized for this hit on Josh Dobbs. pic.twitter.com/fP5TABQ8ha— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) November 20, 2023
“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,” Runyan added. “You could have made contact with your opponent within the rules, yet, you chose not to,”
Sunday’s clash against the Vikings was Jackson’s first game back from his previous suspension, and he’ll now be sidelined until Week 15. He’ll miss the Broncos’ upcoming games against the Browns, Texans, Chargers, and Lions before being eligible to return for the Dec. 24 matchup with the Patriots.