Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison's hard hits on the field keep getting matched by the NFL's hits to his paycheck.
Harrison was fined $20,000 on Thursday for a late hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees, the third time he has been fined this season for a dangerous tackle.
The penalties total $100,000, including a $75,000 fine for his Oct. 17 helmet hit that left Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi with a concussion.
“The amount of money is becoming an issue,” Harrison said Thursday. “The fines that they issued to me, two of them weren’t even called penalties. I don’t even know what to say anymore.”
The league told Harrison he put his facemask into Brees’ back after the quarterback delivered a pass, causing Harrison to draw a roughing the passer penalty.
Harrison anticipated being fined, but was surprised at the amount. He insisted he was only following the NFL’s tackling guidelines – as portrayed in posters displayed in every NFL locker room – to keep his head up.
“They tell you to keep your head up, see what you hit, but I guess that’s not the case with a defenseless player,” Harrison said. “I don’t know how you tackle someone and don’t use any part of your head, especially if you’re trying to see what you’re hitting. Your facemask is going to touch them.”
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Ernie Sims called his $50,000 fine by the NFL “outrageous,” and said he planned to appeal.
Sims, a five-year veteran, was docked for a hit on Tennessee wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins in the second quarter of the Eagles’ 37-19 loss to the Titans on Oct. 24.
“I really, really hate the fact that I got fined $50,000,” he said. “I don’t care how much money you make, that’s a ton of money, money I worked hard for my whole life. Just for anybody to take it away from me for something that I do on the field, I just think it’s crazy.”
DESEAN’S NEW HAT
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson is wearing a new helmet, made by Schutt, that is designed to prevent concussions.
Jackson suffered his second concussion in as many seasons when he took a vicious hit from Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson on Oct. 17.
Jackson remains optimistic about returning Sunday against Indianapolis, and has been a full participant in practice the last two days.
Jackson said after Thursday’s practice that he has worn helmets made by Schutt since he was “a little kid.”
A broken arm and a dislocated elbow couldn’t prevent Indianapolis linebacker Clint Session from finishing the Colts’ game Monday against Houston. The injuries might, however, end his season. Coach Tom Cable says Jason Campbell will make his fourth straight start at quarterback Sunday for the Oakland Raiders. Campbell has led Oakland to wins the past two weeks, helping the Raiders put together consecutive 500-yard offensive performances for the first time in franchise history. The San Diego Chargers, who might be without star tight end Antonio Gates on Sunday due to a foot injury, have signed wide receiver Kelley Washington. The NFL fined Jacksonville Jaguars safety Don Carey $12,500 for an illegal hit on Dallas tight end Jason Witten on Sunday. Carey is the latest player fined during the NFL’s crackdown on flagrant hits.