A four-game suspension for Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson was reduced to two games by appeals officer Derrick Brooks, the NFL announced Tuesday.
The NFL league initially suspended Jackson for four games on Monday following his second ejection of the season in Sunday's win over the Green Bay Packers. NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension alongside a statement to Jackson addressing Sunday's hit on Packers tight end Luke Musgrave.
“On the play in question, you delivered a forceful blow to the head/neck area of a defenseless receiver, when you had the time and space to avoid such contact," Runyan's statement reads. "You could have made contact with your opponent within the rules, yet you chose not to."
The play in question took place in the second half of Denver's 19-17 win when Musgrave caught a pass from Jordan Love. As Musgrave came down with the ball, Jackson lowered his head and dove for the hit. Musgrave's head violently snapped back on contact.
Broncos S Kareem Jackson has been ejected for this hit
— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) October 22, 2023
A second angle shows Jackson's helmet making contact with Musgrave's shoulder and appearing to hit his facemask.
— Mike McDaniel (@MikMcDaniel) October 22, 2023
Jackson was previously ejected for a Week 2 hit that concussed Washington Commanders tight end Logan Thomas. Jackson lowered his helmet and launched himself toward Thomas on the hit in an effort to dislodge the ball.
The hit on Logan Thomas that got Kareem Jackson ejected. Definitely the right call. pic.twitter.com/NnFrqTNEha
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) September 17, 2023
Jackson drew a $19,669 fine for the hit on Thomas but was not suspended. A week prior, he was flagged for unnecessary roughness on a helmet-to-helmet hit that concussed Las Vegas Raiders receiver Jakobi Meyers. He wasn't ejected for the hit, but drew a $14,819 fine.
Jakobi Meyers injury Kareem Jackson Helmet to Helmet penalty Jakobi Meyers injured Raiders vs Broncos pic.twitter.com/PpGMhD3WQf
— Trebornotslar (@Trebornotslar) September 10, 2023
Jackson, 35, is in his fifth season as a starting safety in Denver. In seven games this season, he has two interceptions, three passes defended and 42 tackles. Backup Delarrin Turner-Yell could take his place in the starting lineup.
He is eligible to return to the Broncos on Nov. 14, which is Week 11 in the league. The Broncos (2-5) will face the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 19 in Denver.