BRONCOS

NFL drops the hammer on Kareem Jackson

Oct 23, 2023, 2:46 PM | Updated: Oct 24, 2023, 7:27 am

After four fines and two ejections in the first seven weeks of the season, the NFL came down on Broncos safety Kareem Jackson — and did so with vigor.

The league issued Jackson a whopping four-game suspension in the wake of his hit on Packers tight end Luke Musgrave during Sunday’s 19-17 Broncos win over Green Bay.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first shared the news of the league’s announcement.

In issuing the suspension, NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan described Jackson’s hit on Musgrave as “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.”

When noting Jackson’s hit, Broncos coach Sean Payton — a Competition Committee member — noted the impact of Musgrave being a defenseless receiver. This has been a point of emphasis for the committee and the NFL in recent years.

“I’ve sat on this committee for a number of years. We’re constantly trying to work with and educate the players,” Payton said. “There are times when pad levels drop.

“… When you see the play, his head is removed from the forceable contact. Defenseless is a little bit more of an issue relative to the position the receiver’s in.”

Payton empathized with Jackson, noting that the 14-year veteran isn’t a dirty player operating with malicious intent. However, such an argument did not come into play with the league’s issuance of its punishment toward him.

Jackson’s previous offenses this season — including the four fines and the Week 2 ejection for a hit on Washington tight end Logan Thomas — were noted.

He can appeal the suspension.

Without Jackson, the Broncos will likely turn to P.J. Locke, who sealed Sunday’s win with the first interception of his NFL career.

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