The Washington Post

James Harrison suspension upheld by NFL

This hit on Colt McCoy will keep James Harrison off the field on Monday Night in San Francisco. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The NFL cited Harrison’s history of dangerous hits — one that now includes five helmet-to-helmet hits on quarterbacks — in its decision. Harrison will become the first player suspended under the league’s new crack down on hits to the head, which followed another Steelers-Browns game last season during which Harrison had two helmet-to-helmet hits.

McCoy, who was knocked out of last Thursday’s game for only two plays, has not practiced this week as he deals with headaches caused by a concussion sustained during the hit.

On Wednesday Browns team president Mike Holmgren said the team did not give their quarterback a concussion test on the sideline before allowing him to re-enter the game.

Harrison, who has been outspoken about his disapproval of the league’s new enforcement of helmet-to-helmet hits, was fined $125,000 for hits in 2010.

“From what I understand, once the quarterback leaves the pocket, he’s considered a runner,” Harrison said last Friday. “All the defenseless(ness) and liberties that a quarterback has in the pocket are gone and you can tackle him just as he’s a running back. The hit wasn’t late, so I really don’t understand why it was called.”

Seneca Wallace is expected to start for the Browns on Sunday while McCoy continues to recover.

Last week, McCoy’s father, Brad McCoy, ripped the Browns for allowing his son to return to the field following Harrison’s hit.

“He never should have gone back in the game,” McCoy said. “He was basically out after the hit. You could tell by the rigidity of his body as he was laying there.”

On Tuesday, representatives from the NFL and the players association met with the Browns to discuss their in-game treatment of McCoy.

More from Washington Post Sports:

Early Lead: Is Harrison’s one-game suspension warranted?

Tracee Hamilton: Vigilance needs to focus on protection as much as punishment

Mike Holmgren: Colt McCoy not tested for concussion before returning to field

Early Lead: Browns coach Pat Shurmur defends putting McCoy back in game

Early Lead: Colt McCoy’s father rips Browns for handling of concussion

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.


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