Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson has been penalized multiple times this season for hits the NFL has ruled to be illegal. He has accumulated an estimated $90,000 in fines this year alone.
Last month, Jackson was suspended once again following a controversial hit on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs, which caused a fumble. No foul was called on the play.
The New England Patriots upset the Broncos this past Sunday, and one day later Jackson learned that he was being released. According to multiple reports, the Broncos will likely attempt to sign Jackson to their practice squad if he clears waiver on Tuesday.
Denver’s playoff hopes took a significant hit on Sunday, but if Jackson does join the practice squad it opens the door for the veteran safety to be elevated for the team’s final two pivotal regular season games.
The Broncos have about a 1-in-20 shot at ending their eight-year playoff drought.
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Jackson has been ejected two times this season, which resulting in a pair of suspensions for illegal hits.
He returned from this second suspension last week but wasn’t activated for the Week 16 game against New England. He’s now missed seven of Denver’s last eight games, with PJ Locke stepping in during Jackson’s extended absence.
Jackson ran afoul of the league’s unnecessary roughness rules on his very first tackle when he returned from his first suspension, drawing another four-game ban. The first one was cut in half on appeal, but the second one was upheld.
In addition to paying a hefty amount of fines, Jackson has surrendered an estimated $837,000 in lost paychecks this season. He recently noted that his $43,709 fine for an unflagged hit on Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco in Week 6 was rescinded by the league.
As a converted cornerback, Jackson’s 5-foot-10, 183-pound frame puts him on the smaller size for NFL safeties, something he’s compensated for with his hard-hitting style.
Jackson was granted an audience with Commissioner Roger Goodell last month as he sought advice on how to quit running afoul of the league’s rules designed to keep players safe.
Jackson said, however, that he only came away from the meeting with more questions because, he said, he was told it’s his responsibility to keep his opponents safe.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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