Pittsburgh—Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been suspended by the NFL for one game for his hit on Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy. Harrison is appealing the ruling but is likely to miss the team's upcoming game at San Francisco on Monday Night.
Here is more on the story from the Associated Press:
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has carved out a niche as one of the NFL's most feared defenders over the past five years by straddling the line between clean and dirty play
After one dangerous hit too many, the league apparently has seen enough.
The NFL suspended Harrison for one game following his helmet-to-facemask hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy last Thursday, making Harrison the first player to miss game time as a penalty under the league's revamped policy on such collisions.
Harrison, who will likely appeal, laid out McCoy late in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh's 14-3 victory. The 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year was penalized for roughing the passer on the play and said Monday he believed the hit didn't warrant further punishment.
NFL Executive Vice President Ray Anderson disagreed, pointing out the violation marked the fifth illegal hit on a quarterback by Harrison in the past three seasons. The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker has also been fined on two other occasions for unnecessary roughness over the same period.
Though Harrison hasn't been fined for such a hit in over a year, he was considered a repeat offender under the 2011 League Policies for Players manual, leading to the suspension.
Harrison, who has been highly critical of the league's crackdown on vicious hits, thanked his fans for their support on his Twitter account after the suspension was levied, adding, ''I'm just going to move on from here and get ready for my next game.''
Barring a successful appeal, that won't be until the Steelers (10-3) face St. Louis on Christmas Eve.
Harrison has maintained the hit didn't warrant any punishment other than the 15-yard penalty, saying Monday it was obvious to him that McCoy ''chucked and ducked.''