JAMES HARRISON of the Pittsburgh Steelers has been suspended without pay for one game by NFL Executive Vice President RAY ANDERSON as a result of Harrison’s fifth illegal hit against a quarterback in the past three seasons, the NFL announced today.
Harrison was penalized for roughing the passer in last Thursday night’s Steelers-Browns game for an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit against a defenseless quarterback, Cleveland’s COLT MC COY. In addition to four fines for illegal hits against quarterbacks in 2009 and 2010, Harrison also was fined twice for unnecessary roughness during that period. Harrison totaled six fines in that two-year period.
The 2011 League Policies for Players manual states: “Players who were fined for violations in 2009 or 2010, and whose fines were either partially or fully upheld, will be considered second and/or repeat offenders under this policy.”
Harrison may not practice this week or be at the team practice facility or stadium for any other activities during the suspension. He will be reinstated on December 20. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspension may be appealed within three business days and an expedited hearing and decision would take place this week in advance of this weekend’s games. Appeals are heard and decided on a rotating basis by either Art Shell or Ted Cottrell, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.