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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Jon Heath

NFL suspends Broncos safety Kareem Jackson after big hit on ‘Sunday Night Football’

After he launched himself head first into Minnesota Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs on Sunday Night Football in Week 11, Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson has been suspended four games, the NFL announced Monday.

Jackson’s big punishment is the result of his repeat offenses. The veteran safety was fined four times for $89,670 for unnecessary roughness offenses earlier this season, then suspended after his fifth offense last month. Jackson was also ejected from two games.

After his fifth offense, Jackson was originally suspended four games in October, but that suspension was reduced to two games after Jackson’s appeal. He will also appeal the latest suspension.

If the suspension is not reduced, Jackson will be eligible to return against the New England Patriots in Week 16.

Jackson launched himself into Dobbs on Sunday night in his first game back from his previous two-game suspension. The hit was not penalized, but the NFL retroactively handed down punishment after reviewing the game film.

Jackson has come under heavy criticism for his repeat offenses, but teammate Justin Simmons recently came to the safety’s defense, saying Jackson is not a dirty player. Last month, Jackson said that he’s not trying to “maliciously hurt people,” and the safety also said he would change the way he plays and aim lower on tackles after his two-game suspension.

The NFL has countered that actions speak louder than words.

P.J. Locke filled in at strong safety during Jackson’s previous suspension. Health permitting, Locke will now return to that starting role. With Jackson sidelined, the Broncos will hope Locke recovers from his ankle injury quickly. Denver will host the Cleveland Browns in Week 12.

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