Share This Page

NFL denies James Harrison's appeal

The NFL's decision to uphold James Harrison's one-game suspension came as no surprise to Steelers free safety Ryan Clark.

Clark reiterated Friday that the Steelers have to "play within the rules." He also directed a few pointed comments at the league, which banished Harrison for a helmet-to-helmet hit that left Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy with a concussion.

"They're trying to make players that play with a physical nature extinct," said Clark, the Steelers' union representative. "They want everybody to average 35 points a game, and we have to find a way for that not to happen. Defense still matters to us here."

Harrison won't play Monday night in San Francisco after Ted Cottrell denied his appeal of the suspension. Cottrell or Art Shell rule on league discipline appeals, and they are appointed and paid jointly by the NFL and the NFL Players Association.

The NFL announced Cottrell's decision yesterday morning. Harrison later posted on 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!"

Harrison, who was fined $100,000 last season, had not been disciplined by the league before his hit on McCoy.

McCoy has been ruled out for the Browns' game Sunday at Arizona.

"To me, it was a between-the-whistle play that they're making an example out of him for," Clark said. "We just have to continue playing and roll with the punches."

Asked if he is disappointed that Harrison put himself in position to be suspended, Clark said, "Heck no. That's ridiculous. It's the fact that he has to sit home and watch us play through no fault of his own."

Harrison is not allowed to attend the Steelers' game or use their practice facility until Tuesday. The four-time Pro Bowler is subject to a lengthier suspension if he again violates the rule prohibiting illegal hits on quarterbacks.

"I'm sure he'll try to be more careful and play within the guidelines of the game," Steelers linebacker James Farrior said. "Hopefully he has a good mindset when he comes back, and he's just ready to go."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.