Adam Schefter tweets that the NFL is likely to suspend the Steelers’ James Harrison for his hit on Colt McCoy last Thursday.
The sense in Pittsburgh and around the league is that the NFL will wind up suspending Steelers LB James Harrison on Tuesday morning.
That seems draconian, if that’s what ends up happening. Harrison was assessed with a penalty on the play. McCoy was outside the pocket and was basically acting like a runner, in which case he should not have been treated as a defenseless player, as quarterbacks in the pocket and wide receivers typically are. McCoy did flip the ball at the last second, and it’s on Harrison to hold up and avoid the hit. He didn’t, but suspending him for failing to make that split-second decision seems unfair.
Harrison is widely seen as the poster boy for the helmet-to-helmet hit problem in the NFL, but as Behind The Steel Curtain points out, he has actually behaved quite well in the past year, adjusting his game to the new rules. Meanwhile, the NFL really only gives out suspensions for things like stomping on a player’s face outside the whistles. Heck, Cortland Finnegan and Andre Johnson got in a full-on fight outside the whistles in 2010 and just got fines. Suspending Harrison here is way too much, but that’s pretty much the sort of treatment by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that Harrison, the Steelers and their fans have come to expect.
Here’s video of the hit.