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Broncos cut safety Jackson but will try to re-sign him

Kareem Jackson Denver Broncos Kareem Jackson - The Canadian Press

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Safety Kareem Jackson was released by the Denver Broncos on Christmas Day, less than 24 hours after their playoff chances took a big hit with a 26-23 loss to the New England Patriots.

The Broncos (7-8) are expected to sign Jackson to their practice squad if he clears waivers Tuesday. That way, he could be elevated for their final two games and any playoff games should they qualify.

They have about a 1-in-20 shot at ending their eight-year playoff drought, however, after losing to the Patriots, the fourth underdog that's beaten them in Denver this season.

The 14th-year veteran has been fined five times, ejected twice and suspended twice this season over a series of illegal hits. He returned from this second suspension last week but wasn't activated for the Broncos' game against the Patriots.

He's now missed seven of Denver's last eight games and PJ Locke has played exceptionally well in his 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.

Jackson has surrendered $837,000 in lost paychecks to go with $89,670 in fines for unsafe hits this season, although he said recently that his $43,709 fine for an unflagged hit on Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco in Week 6 was rescinded by the league.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 that meeting with more questions because, he said, he was told it’s his responsibility to keep his opponents safe.