Vikings: Kareem Jackson suspended 4 games for hit on Joshua Dobbs

Quarterback Joshua Dobbs #15 of the Minnesota Vikings fumbles the football after being hit by safety Kareem Jackson #22 of the Denver Broncos during the first quarter of the NFL game at Empower Field At Mile High on November 19, 2023 in Denver, Color ((Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images))

The NFL has suspended Denver Broncos' safety Kareem Jackson four games for a hit on Minnesota Vikings quarterback during the first quarter Sunday night.

It was during the Vikings’ first offensive series, and Kevin O’Connell drew up a trick play. T.J. Hockenson lined up in the shotgun and ran an option play, with Dobbs out to the left. Hockenson pitched it to Dobbs, who was trying to get a first down. Jackson came in for the tackle and launched his helmet into Dobbs, who fumbled on the play and the Broncos recovered. Denver got a field goal out of the turnover.

There was no flag on the play, but the NBC broadcast said it should’ve been a 15-yard penalty on Jackson for unnecessary roughness. A penalty would’ve also negated the fumble, and given the Vikings a first down.

Dobbs was ordered by NFL medical personnel to go to the medical tent and presumably be checked out for concussion symptoms. Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell was asked after the game if he felt there shoud've been a penalty on the play.

"On the field, it felt like that. I'll have to go back and look at it. Coming from the second level the way he did, it seemed like a pretty direct helmet-to-helmet hit but I'm sure they saw it differently," O'Connell said. "They're officiating a fast play there, but, yes, I do believe regardless of whether it's your quarterback running the ball, receivers, running back, tight end, the rule as far as how it states and how it's talked about. It happened fast out there, but we'll have to take a look at it. The rule is what it is. They didn't throw the flag."

Dobbs stayed in the game and finished 20-of-32 passing for 221 yards, a touchdown to Josh Oliver and had eight rushing attempts for 21 yards and a score. He became the first player in NFL history to have at least one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown in his first three games with a team.

Jackson had just returned from a two-game suspension for a similar hit, and is now out for a month.