The NFL has suspended Broncos safety Kareem Jackson for four games following his hit on Vikings quarterback, Josh Dobbs, on Sunday night. Despite causing a fumble that led to the Broncos’ first score in their 21-20 win, the hit was not initially flagged on the field. This is not Jackson’s first suspension for this type of violation. He had already served a two-game suspension earlier in the season for similar violations against leading with the helmet. It is likely that he will appeal this suspension as well, given his history of doing so.
The hit on Dobbs was considered a serious violation of playing rules by NFL Vice President of Football Operations, Jon Runyan, who informed Jackson of the suspension by letter today. Runyan stated that the league considers the hit a flagrant and illegal act that could have been avoided. Jackson had an unobstructed path to Dobbs and delivered a forceful blow to the shoulder and head/neck area when he had time and space to avoid such contact.
Jackson has been ejected from two games and fined four times this season for illegal hits, suggesting a pattern of behavior that the NFL is keen to crack down on. With this latest suspension, it seems that at some point, Jackson will have to change the way he plays in order to continue playing in the NFL.