While the first hit went without punishment on Josh Cribbs, the lay out of Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi is going to cost Steelers LB James Harrison $75,000. the NFL Tuesday laid down the fine on Harrison, but he will not miss any playing time due to a suspension.
The hit took place in the second quarter of the Steelers 28-10 win over Cleveland. The NFL stated that Harrison unnecessarily struck a defenseless receiver in the head and neck area.
That action violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8 (g) of the NFL Official Playing Rules, which states that it is unnecessary roughness if the initial force of the contact by a defender’s helmet, forearm, or shoulder is to the head or neck area of a defenseless receiver who is catching or attempting to catch a pass.
NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson added that the action also violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8 (h) of the NFL Official Playing Rules, which states that if a receiver has completed a catch and has not had time to protect himself, a defensive player is prohibited from launching (springing forward and upward) into him in a way that causes the defensive player’s helmet, facemask, shoulder, or forearm to forcibly strike the receiver’s head or neck area, even if the initial contact of the defender’s helmet, facemask, shoulder, or forearm is lower than the receiver’s neck.
Anderson emphasized that Harrison is a repeat offender, having been fined $5,000 for unnecessary roughness (roughing the passer) in the Steelers win over Tennessee on September 19th.
“It was a legal hit,” Harrison told the Post-Gazette. “All you have to do is look at the tape. We’ve had enough rules on how to tackle a quarterback, now we have to worry about what a guy does at the last second. If he puts himself in harms way, now it’s our fault.”