Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson was ejected from the team’s 19-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers due to an illegal hit on Packers’ rookie tight end Luke Musgrave.
The NFL has taken further action against Jackson by suspending him for four games without pay. The suspension was issued by NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan for violations of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 9 (b)(1), which stipulates that forcibly hitting a defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder, regardless of the initial contact point, is a foul. This applies even if the defensive player also uses their arms to tackle the defenseless player by encircling or grasping them, as per the league’s statement.
Jackson has indicated that he will appeal the suspension, as reported by NFL Media.
The latest infraction occurred during the game, with just under 14 minutes left in regulation, when Musgrave caught an 18-yard pass from Jordan Love. Alex Singleton, a linebacker, was pursuing Musgrave after the catch when Jackson appeared to lead with the crown of his helmet and knocked Musgrave to the ground. Following discussions among the officials and the imposition of a 15-yard penalty, Jackson was ejected.
This is not the first time Jackson has been flagged for unnecessary roughness this season. He has previously been fined four times, totaling $89,670, for similar infractions. In Week 2, he was also ejected for a hit on Commanders’ tight end Logan Thomas.
Head coach Sean Payton commented after the game, suggesting that Jackson’s prior violations might have contributed to his ejection.
“I think it’s difficult to make these calls sometimes,” Payton stated. “I think what’s difficult for Kareem is he’s got some priors. You get pulled over, and you’ve had four or five speeding violations; you’re going to spend a little bit more time on the side of the road than if you didn’t have any. I wasn’t real surprised [at the penalty and the ejection].”
Given his history of infractions, it remains to be seen how the league will handle Jackson, whether through additional fines or a suspension, considering his status as a repeat offender.
The Broncos are scheduled to face the Chiefs in Week 8, followed by a bye week in Week 9.