The Denver Broncos' Kareem Jackson is set to endure a four-game suspension without pay for recurrent infractions of on-field regulations designed to safeguard players' well-being, a penalty stemming from his actions in Sunday's match against the Minnesota Vikings.
Jon Runyan, the NFL Vice President of Football Operations, suspended based on a breach of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 10 (a), which explicitly deems it an offense if a player "lowers his head and makes forcible contact with his helmet against an opponent."
In a written communication addressed to Jackson, Runyan outlined the rationale for the suspension:
"At 13:38 remaining in the first quarter, your involvement in a play was deemed a significant violation of the playing rules. Video evidence reveals that you lowered your head, making forcible contact with Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs. You had a clear path to your opponent, and the illicit contact was avoidable.
"Acts of this nature, considered flagrant and compromising player safety, will not be tolerated. The League emphasizes the enforcement of rules prohibiting the use of helmets for forceful contact with opponents. In this specific play, despite having the opportunity to make legal contact, you chose to lower your head and deliver a forceful blow to the shoulder and head/neck area of your opponent."
This suspension follows Jackson's previous four-game suspension after the Week 7 game against Green Bay, originally for violations of unnecessary roughness rules. This earlier suspension was later reduced to two games by hearing officer Derrick Brooks, who was jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA. Additionally, Jackson faced disqualification from a Week 2 game against Washington due to a similarly egregious hit, resulting in a fine.
Jackson becomes eligible to rejoin the Broncos' active roster following the conclusion of the Week 15 game against Detroit. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Jackson retains the option to appeal the suspension, with any such appeal to be heard and decided by NFL-NFLPA hearing officers Derrick Brooks or James Thrash.
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