Steelers' Harrison suspended for hit

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2011, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, right, sits on the bench during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Pittsburgh. Harrison has been suspended for one game without pay for his hit last week on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. NFL executive vice president Ray Anderson said Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, the suspension is the result of Harrison's fifth illegal hit against a quarterback in the past three seasons. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2011, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, right, sits on the bench during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Pittsburgh. Harrison has been suspended for one game without pay for his hit last week on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. NFL executive vice president Ray Anderson said Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, the suspension is the result of Harrison's fifth illegal hit against a quarterback in the past three seasons. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Posted: December 14, 2011

THE NFL suspended Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison for one game following his helmet-to-facemask hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy last Thursday, making Harrison the first player to miss game time as a penalty under the league's revamped policy on such collisions.

Harrison's agent Bill Parise said yesterday afternoon Harrison has already filed an appeal and expects it to be heard later this week by Art Shell or Ted Cottrell, jointly appointed by the NFL and the Players Association to hear such cases.

They'll have to determine Harrison's intent when he laid out McCoy late in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh's 14-3 victory. The 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year was penalized for roughing the passer on the play and said Monday he believed the hit didn't warrant further punishment.

McCoy sustained a concussion on the hit but continued to play. The league and players association representatives are investigating the Browns' handling of the injury.

Harrison's hit on McCoy marked the linebacker's fifth illegal hit on a quarterback in the last three seasons. The four-time Pro Bowler has also been fined on two other occasions for unnecessary roughness over the same period.

Barring a successful appeal, Harrison will miss Pittsburgh's game at San Francisco on Monday night.

In other news, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is questionable for Monday's game due to a sprained left ankle.

Coach Mike Tomlin said yesterday that Roethlisberger is "day-to-day" but is working "tirelessly" to be on the field against the 49ers.

Roethlisberger was injured in Thursday's game.

Noteworthy * 

Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb said in his weekly radio interview that his concussion "symptoms are pretty good," and he hopes to be able to be cleared for this weekend's game against Cleveland. He was injured in Sunday's win over San Francisco.

* Dallas owner/general manager Jerry Jones said that head coach Jason Garrett's job is safe no matter how the Cowboys finish the season. "It's really not even something worth discussion," Jones told ESPN.

* Washington signed tight end Richard Quinn and placed nose tackle Chris Baker (quad) on injured reserve. Quinn was a second-round draft pick from North Carolina by Denver in 2009. He played in 29 games, with four starts, in two seasons with the Broncos before being released this preseason.

* Buffalo signed offensive tackle Erik Pears to a contract extension. Terms of the deal were not released. Pears, a 7-year veteran, is in his first full season with the Bills.

* Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli said he accepts responsibility for the lack of depth in the organization that has resulted in the lackluster performance on the field. Pioli fired coach Todd Haley on Monday with the team in the midst of a 5-8 season. Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said he is confident Pioli can turn the franchise around.

* The New York Jets signed veteran safety Gerald Alexander, adding depth to the position 2 days after Jim Leonhard was lost for the season because of a knee injury. Alexander, a former second-round pick of Detroit in 2007, was waived by Miami last month after spending last season with Carolina and Jacksonville.

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