NFL safety Kareem Jackson has been suspended for four games after lowering his helmet and drilling 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. The suspension was announced by NFL Vice President of Football Operations, Jon Runyan, who cited the hit as a serious violation of the playing rules.
Despite this being his first game back from a two-game suspension for previous violations of the same rule against leading with the helmet, 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. This is not Jackson’s first suspension for this type of violation; he 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.
Given his history of doing so, it is likely that Jackson will appeal this suspension. However, it seems that at some point, he will have to change the way he plays in order to continue playing in the NFL. The league takes these types of violations very seriously and will not hesitate to hand out suspensions to players who engage in such behavior.