Kareem Jackson will not end up missing a month of time because of his spree of illegal hits. After being handed a four-game suspension Monday, the veteran Broncos safety has seen his appeal reduce the ban.
The 14th-year vet’s appeal effort will trim the suspension to two games, ESPN.com’s Field Yates tweets. This will sideline Jackson for the Broncos’ rematch against the Chiefs and a Week 10 Bills tilt. Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks, jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA to hear the appeal, made the Tuesday ruling.
Although Jackson will be back sooner, he has still offered an unusual update to his career via this pattern of illegal hits. A Jackson penalty after a hit on a sliding Jimmy Garoppolo helped the Raiders hold off the Broncos in Week 1. Jackson was not ejected for that hit, but he has been tossed twice this season. The former cornerback’s end zone hit on Logan Thomas led to a Week 2 ejection, and that likely factored into officials’ decision to toss Jackson after another personal foul — for a hit on Packers tight end Luke Musgrave — on Sunday. After coming into the season known for making the successful transition from corner to safety in Denver, the 35-year-old defender added a notable chapter to his NFL legacy in what could well be his final season.
The Broncos initially brought in Jackson in 2019, giving him a three-year deal worth $33MM. Jackson played two seasons on that contract, and despite Denver cutting bait on the contract in 2021, the former first-round pick has agreed to one-year accords in each of the past three offseasons. He is currently attached to a $2.67MM deal that includes a $2.52MM base salary. This reduced suspension will cost Jackson just more than $279K. The nine-year Texan has started 68 games for the Broncos.
While Justin Simmons has long resided as the Broncos’ top safety, Pro Football Focus has graded Jackson as a top-20 player at the position this season. He has intercepted two passes, including a game-clinching pick of Justin Fields in Week 4. Simmons remains healthy going into the Kansas City rematch, but Denver is now down his top two sidekicks. The team lost regular contributor Caden Sterns for the season in Week 1. For the season’s first month, the Broncos were also without fourth-year backup P.J. Locke. But Locke, who made a game-sealing interception to close out the Broncos’ Week 7 win over the Packers, is off IR and in place to start alongside Simmons. Second-year cog Delarrin Turner-Yell, who started two games in place of Simmons this season, remains in the equation as well.