Steelers LB Harrison's appeals rejected by NFL

PITTSBURGH -- The NFL has rejected Steelers linebacker James Harrison's appeals of his $75,000 fine for a hit on Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, and $20,000 fine for slamming helmet-first into Saints quarterback Drew Brees' back.

Harrison, a three-time Pro Bowl linebacker, learned Monday the league turned down his appeals. The NFL also did not reduce the fines.

Harrison met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell following the tackle on Massaquoi, one of two Harrison delivered Oct. 17 that caused concussions to Browns players. The Massaquoi helmet-to-helmet hit helped spur the league's stricter enforcement of dangerous hits, which Goodell explained to Harrison during their Nov. 2 meeting in New York.

Harrison, fined $100,000 this season for three separate hits, possibly faces a fine for his roughing-the-passer penalty Sunday against Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The officials ruled Harrison led with the crown of his helmet.

"I didn't expect to get a flag," Harrison said after the game. "I guess the referees are getting to the point where they're afraid not to make a call if it's borderline. That's textbook. It doesn't get any better than that: Hit, wrap and I made sure to put my hands out so I didn't land on him, put my body weight on him or anything, but they still made the call."

Despite his growing list of fines, Harrison doesn't expect to be further punished for the Fitzpatrick hit. Harrison compared it to his Nov. 21 roughing-the-passer penalty against Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell, which did not draw a fine. Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor's interception return touchdown was nullified by that penalty.

"I'm not expecting a fine," Harrison said. "It's the exact thing as last week. It was the same exact hit. I hit him (Fitzpatrick) the same way I did the quarterback from Oakland and I got the same flag but I didn't get a fine. ... I'm expecting the same thing on this."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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