I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone besides James Harrison’s lawyer, but the NFL upheld their suspension, and Harrison won’t be able to play on Monday night.
Harrison was suspended following his hit on Cleveland Browns’ quarterback Colt McCoy. There has been much discussion about whether the hit was legal or not. Even many national commentators said that they felt that Harrison made “a good football play”. However, this is Roger Goodell’s NFL, and “good football plays” apparently aren’t allowed.
I don’t think that there’s any doubt that if it had been James Farrior, Lawrence Timmons, or LaMarr Woodley who had made that hit, they wouldn’t have been suspended. In fact, they might not have even gotten fined. But Harrison has been in Roger Goodell’s crosshairs for the past 3 seasons, so there was little chance that his appeal was going to be approved.
Harrison said via Twitter: “17 games,1000+ snaps, 100+ tackles, 12+sacks and 2 forces fumbles since my last incident and I get a suspension for a football play!”
Because of the suspension, Harrison will not be able to play in the Steelers’ game against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night. In fact, the rules of the suspension dictate that Harrison can’t even set foot in the Steelers’ practice facility until Tuesday.
Without Harrison, winning on Monday night will be a bit more difficult. But winning is crucial to the Steelers’ playoff hopes, so Jason Worilds is going to have to step in and play as though he’s James Harrison. As Mike Tomlin is so fond of saying; “The standard is the standard”.