DENVER – Kareem Jackson admitted last Tuesday that he needed to lower his hitting target to avoid remaining a target for NFL discipline. However, three plays into his first game after serving a two-game suspension for repeated unnecessary roughness violations, Jackson hit Minnesota quarterback Joshua Dobbs in the facemask with his helmet on Sunday night. The officials did not penalize Jackson. The league, however, did.
Jackson was suspended four games on Monday and his ban was upheld on Tuesday, per an announcement from the NFL. Derrick Brooks, a former star player who was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA, heard Jackson’s appeal request and denied it. Brooks reduced Jackson’s four-game suspension to two games a month ago. However, Jackson’s past worked against him in this case.
Jackson, 35, has been fined four times, ejected twice and suspended a pair of times, now totaling six games. It has cost Jackson $925,000 in fines, representing 36% of his salary this season, his 14th in the league.
Jackson’s teammates have criticized the league for his suspensions, and have taken exception to critics calling him a dirty player. He is well-respected in the locker room as a mentor and leader and has served as a captain the past two seasons.
The Broncos are hopeful that P.J. Locke, who started the two games in Jackson’s place, can return from a sprained left ankle suffered at Buffalo. Rookie JL Skinner was made his season debut on Sunday to provide depth at the position.