The Steelers are fighting for playoff position in the final 3 games of the season, and that fight just got a bit tougher. The NFL has suspended linebacker James Harrison for 1 game for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Cleveland Browns’ quarterback Colt McCoy.
The Steelers face the San Francisco 49ers in their next game. It’s probably the toughest game left on the Steelers schedule, so they could definitely use Harrison. But I guess that point is now moot.
Harrison’s agent Bill Parise has already appealed the suspension.
“We will ask for an expedited hearing because we’re dealing with a suspension,” Parise said.
Ummmmm, good luck with that.
Frankly, I don’t think he has any chance of winning his appeal. The tape clearly shows that Harrison struck a head-to-head blow. It can be debated whether the hit was intentional, but because it’s Harrison, the league is not likely to back down.
Harrison was fined a total of six times during the 2009 and 2010 seasons for four illegal hits against quarterbacks and twice for unnecessary roughness. Because of that history, the NFL probably felt that a suspension might send a louder message than the fines did.
Even Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t support Harrison on this one.
“He hit him, he hit him illegally, he has to suffer the consequences,” Tomlin said.
Because he’ll be suspended for the game, Harrison won’t get paid for it. So effectively, the league did fine him.
This obviously makes the next game a little tougher than we thought it would be. However, I still think the Steelers have a good chance of beating the 49ers and improving their record to 11-3.