The NFL told Pittsburgh Tuesday that linebacker James Harrison will have to sit out one game for his helmet-to-helmet hit on QB Colt McCoy.
Harrison is scheduled to miss next Monday Night's game against San Francisco. Harrison has appealed the suspension.
Harrison's hit on McCoy was his fifth illegal hit against a quarterback in the past three seasons.
In addition to his five fines for hits on a QB, Harrison has also been fined two other times for unnecessary roughness on other hits during that time period.
Pittsburgh argued that McCoy was out of the pocket and running just before the hit and therefore should be treated as a running back. They acknowledge that a penalty should have been called for helmet-to-helmet, but that a suspension was uncalled for.
Harrison's past indiscretions -- including calling NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "crook" and a "devil" -- were probably mitigating circumstances in this case. Harrison's suspension is without pay, which will cost him $73,500 for a game check.
Interestingly enough, the Steelers were the only team to vote against the new collective bargaining agreement in August, citing the lack of a proper appeals process regarding fines and suspensions as one of their main concerns. So far this season, Steeler players have been fined 13 times for illegal hits.