NFL gets it wrong with Kareem Jackson suspension decision

Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson got let off the hook for his nasty hit on Logan Thomas in Week 2.
Kareem Jackson, Denver Broncos
Kareem Jackson, Denver Broncos / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages

Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson is out here playing like it's Sean Payton's "Bountygate" era this season.

Jackson was ejected in Week 2 in a 35-33 loss to the Washington Commanders for a vicious and illegal hit on Commanders tight end Logan Thomas.

In the second quarter on a Commanders' drive into the end zone, Washington quarterback Sam Howell threw a short, slightly lifted touchdown pass to Thomas, who caught it and was immediately rammed in the head and neck area for Jackson. Commanders coach Ron Rivera called it an obvious helmet-to-helmet hit, and Thomas never saw Jackson coming. The tight end completed the touchdown drive but left the game with a potential concussion and did not return.

Jackson's ejection was the right call but also didn't seem severe enough, and many on Twitter were clamoring for the Broncos defensive back to get slapped with a multi-game suspension. As Tom Pelissero reported on Monday, Jackson would not, in fact, be suspended by the league for his hit on Thomas. Instead, he'll go through the standard procedure of picking up a possible fine.

Broncos safety Kareem Jackson won't be suspended for late helmet-to-helmet hit in Week 2

This isn't Jackson's first time. Jackson received a roughly $14,000 fine for a hit in Week 1 against Raiders wide receiver Jakobi Meyers. Meyers also left the game after being evaluated for a possible concussion; he ended up sitting out of Week 2 due to concussion protocol.

At least in this past Sunday's game, Jackson and his team got a taste of karma. The Commanders went on to complete an 18-point comeback against the Broncos and send Denver to the bottom of the AFC West with an 0-2 record.

Jackson will likely receive a fine for his dirty head-hunting antics this past week, which still feels too lenient of a punishment considering the hit. If the NFL isn't willing to do more than empty Jackson's piggy bank a little bit after each game, they're sending the wrong message about player safety. Jackson already has two strikes in the first two games of the 2023 season -- left unchecked, he's bound to get a third.

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