Kareem Jackson wanted answers from the NFL after his suspension, but he didn’t get them

Nov 16, 2023, 5:05 PM

Kareem Jackson...

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — All that Kareem Jackson wants to know is this: What can he do to avoid further ejections and punishment from the NFL for on-field hits?

When he appealed his suspension and got it reduced from four games to two, he sought clarity from league officials, specifically vice president Jon Runyan and hearing official Derrick Brooks.

Jackson was asked whether the league gave him feedback from those conversations.

“Not at all. Still looking for clarity on the rules,” Jackson said. “A lot of gray area when it comes to the rules that’s been put in place, in my opinion. Nothing’s black and white.

“I’ve had several conversations with Runyan, Derrick Brooks, and still hang up the phone with no answers.”

And that laves Jackson understandably uncertain as to how to avoid future punishment.

“So, for me, I’m unsure as to how I play the game going forward, because like I said, I’m gonna be in those situations two to three times every week,” he said. “For me, it’s just trying to lower my target and hopefully don’t end up in the same situation.”

Jackson referred to lowering his target multiple times during the course of a conversation with reporters in the locker room Thursday afternoon. And while that’s well and good, there’s also the issue of what happens when the player he’s attempting to tackle also goes low.

It’s the conundrum that Kareem Jackson — and other defensive players – face as the NFL prioritizes safety. But from Jackson’s perspective, they don’t offer a clear answer or solution.

“I mean, for me as a player, as an instinctive player, I’m going to always be in those situations, because my preparation and my instincts are gonna put me in those situations,” Jackson said.

“For me, it’s just trying to lower my target as much as possible. A lot of the things, obviously, the hits that I have, I feel like, are normal football plays. So, for me, it’s just all about trying to lower my target, and at the end of the day, just gotta live with what happened.”


Jackson was absent for two games and three weeks. He watched the games on television. He spent some time on social media.

But for the most part, he turned to his family.

“Full-time daddy mode,” Jackson said. “Obviously, training a little bit in there. But full-time with the kids.”

Jackson generally didn’t reach out to his teammates — in part because he didn’t want to run further afoul of the league.

“Not much. We weren’t supposed to talk to everybody,” he said. “So, try to stick within the rules that’s put in place. I don’t know why we can’t talk. But, I mean, there’s a lot of [stuff] I don’t know why.”

Including, unfortunately, what he can do to avoid further punishment.


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Kareem Jackson wanted answers from the NFL after his suspension, but he didn’t get them