DENVER (AP) — Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson’s four-game suspension for illegal hits was reduced on appeal to two games Tuesday.
Derrick Brooks cut the suspension in half after hearing Jackson’s appeal. Under the collective bargaining agreement, Brooks and James Thrash — both former players — are the two hearing officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFL Players Association to rule on appeals of on-field discipline.
Jackson will miss a home game against Kansas City and a game at Buffalo surrounding the Broncos’ bye week. He will be eligible to return to the team on Nov. 14. Under the initial suspension, he also would have missed games against Minnesota and Cleveland next month.
Jackson will forfeit about $279,000 in salary instead of the $589,000 he would have lost had the four-game suspension been upheld.
Jackson was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected for a high hit to backpedaling Green Bay Packers tight end Luke Musgrave in the fourth quarter of Denver’s 19-17 victory last weekend.
His second ejection of the season came just 24 hours after the league announced he had been fined $43,709 for an unflagged hit on Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco in Week 6, his fourth fine for over-the-top tackles this season.
Those fines total $89,670, and Jackson faces another hefty fine for his hit on Musgrave.
Jon Runyan, the NFL’s vice president of football operations, noted Jackson’s multiple offenses for personal fouls for violating player safety-related rules when issuing the original suspension.
Jackson also was ejected from Denver’s loss to Washington in Week 2 after he was flagged for an illegal hit on Commanders tight end Logan Thomas. That came a week after Jackson’s illegal hit on Raiders receiver Jakobi Meyers. Both Thomas and Meyers were concussed on the plays.
Jackson signed a one-year, $2.515 million contract with the Broncos last spring to return for a 14th NFL season. He lost his starting job to Caden Sterns in training camp but returned to the starting lineup when Sterns suffered a knee injury on his second snap in the opener.
Jackson was replaced Sunday by PJ Locke, who sealed Denver’s win with his first career interception in the closing minutes.
Coach Sean Payton said Monday he’s certain Jackson will lower his target zone and stop committing fouls that are injuring opponents and hurting the Broncos (2-5).
“I know he’ll keep working on it,” Payton said. “He’s someone that’s smart and really wants to do the right thing.”
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