NFL Hands Kareem Jackson a 4-Game Suspension for Hit on Vikings QB Josh Dobbs

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Sunday night’s game between the Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings began with a bit of scrutiny for the officiating.

During the Vikings’ opening drive, Broncos safety Kareem Jackson delivered a brutal hit on QB Josh Dobbs, which forced a fumble and allowed Denver to capture an early 3-0 lead with a field goal. Jackson was not flagged for the hit, but many were calling for a flag considering he led with the crown of his helmet as he delivered the hit to Dobbs’ chest/shoulder area.

In the aftermath of the game, the NFL ruled the play as an illegal hit, and Jackson has been suspended for the next four games.

Kareem Jackson Suspended 4 Games for Hit on Vikings QB Josh Dobbs

Kareem Jackson
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Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported the news via a tweet, writing, “The NFL is suspending #Broncos safety Kareem Jackson for four games for repeated violations of the player safety rules after his hit on Joshua Dobbs on Sunday night. It’s the second suspension this season for Jackson.”

The suspension was issued by NFL Vice President of Football Operations, Jon Runyan who wrote the following in a letter to Jackson:

“You were involved in a play that the League considers a serious violation of the playing rules. The video of the play shows that you lowered your head and made forcible contact to Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs. You had an unobstructed path to your opponent and the illegal contact could have been avoided. Illegal acts that are flagrant and jeopardize the safety of players will not be tolerated. The League will continue to stress enforcement of the rules that prohibit using your helmet to make forcible contact with your opponent. On the play in question, you lowered your head and delivered a forceful blow to the shoulder and head/neck area of an opponent when you had time and space to avoid such contact. You could have made contact with your opponent within the rules, yet you chose not to.”

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Week 11 was Jackson’s first game back in uniform after serving his initial two-game suspension for illegal hits. The first suspension came as a result of a hit to Packers TE Luke Musgrave in Week 8, and he was ejected for the play.

So far this season, Jackson has paid $89,670 in fines for these illegal hits. His initial suspension was for four games, which would have included last night’s game against the Vikings. However, he appealed the suspension and got it trimmed to two, allowing him to return to the field in Week 11. If the suspension holds, Jackson will now pay an additional $558,889, per Chris Tomasson.

Dobbs made very little of the hit when asked about it following the game, simply stating that he’s “got to take care of the football” in that situation. He was taken to the medical tent for evaluation after the hit but was able to finish the game.

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Regardless, Jackson is now out for the next four games, and he will not be able to return until Week 16 when the Broncos take on the New England Patriots at home. The four games he will miss are against the Browns, Texans, Chargers, and Lions.

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Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.