|Will Harrison's hit on McCoy lead to a suspension? (Getty Images)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
Linebacker James Harrison, who was fined $100,000 for illegal hits a year ago, is again in the league's crosshairs after leveling Colt McCoy with a helmet-to-helmet hit during Thursday night's Browns-Steelers game. The play left McCoy with a concussion, and the NFL could consider suspending Harrison even though it was his first roughing-the-passer penalty of this season.
On Monday, Harrison said he shouldn't be suspended or fined.
"I don't think it's suspension-worthy," he said after practice, according to the CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder. "I don't think it's worthy of anything, but that's just my own personal thoughts."
On Monday evening, ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that the sense in Pittsburgh and around the league is that Harrison will be suspended. The ruling is expected Tuesday morning.
Charley Casserly beaks down James Harrison's hard hit on Colt McCoy on Thursday night, which may lead to a possible suspension.
The NFL considered the hit illegal because even though McCoy had tucked the ball to run, and taken five steps before deciding at the last second to throw the ball, he's still considered a quarterback and afforded the rules that protect them. At no time during the play in question was McCoy, in the league's eyes (and according to the rules), considered a runner.
"They didn't even call helmet-to-helmet; they called roughing the passer," Harrison said. "He took off running with it and, at the last second, he like chuck-and-ducked. He tucked the ball and made like he was about to run. So I was going to tackle him."
CBS Sports' Charley Casserly said Sunday that ignorance of the rules wasn't an excuse.
"The league office told [Harrison]: next infraction, escalating discipline, including a possible suspension," Casserly said on The NFL Today. "Head coach Mike Tomlin went to the league office this year to do what I call 'a review of the rules.' From the league's point of view, there's no excuse for any Steeler not knowing the rules."
And then there's this, from Sports Illustrated's Peter King:
“A league source tells me there will be one major mitigating factor in deciding whether to suspend or fine Harrison and that is this: Colt McCoy took five full strides with the ball as a runner, leading Harrison to believe that he could hit him as if he were a running back. I believe he should be only fined and not suspended.”
So would Harrison change anything on the play that left McCoy with a concussion?
"Knowing I got a penalty, yeah I would have did it differently," he said.
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