Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison feels that the NFL should suspend Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who was ejected for punching Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the jaw with an open hand in the Steelers' 35-3 win on Sunday.
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"I don't see why not," Harrison told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "They're trying to suspend guys for hits when that's within the whistles, some hits that guys can't even stop from doing. It's an adjustment that a receiver makes to what you are about to do to him, and you end up hitting helmet to helmet. You're talking about suspending a guy for that? You tell me what the next step is for a guy who blatantly, outside the play, it's already thrown, and a guy is going to celebrate with his teammates and you punch him in the face."
Harrison, a former AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, briefly threatened to retire after the NFL fined him $75,000 for his Oct. 17 helmet hit on Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi.
Harrison was one of three players punished by the NFL for helmet-to-helmet hits following Week 6. He was fined $25,000 more than New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather and Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson were because the league considered Harrison a repeat offender.
After completing a 22-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders, Roethlisberger jumped into the arms of offensive tackle Flozell Adams. Roethlisberger then began walking forward and appeared to say something to Seymour, who turned and struck the quarterback in the jaw with his open right hand. Seymour would not confirm that Roethlisberger provoked him.
"You heard a lot of stuff going on," Seymour told reporters after the game. "I never complain about what happens in the trenches. You've never heard me complain about anything that goes on. Like I said, my main focus is on the team and not doing anything to hurt the team."
Roethlisberger told reporters he only said: "Let's get ready for the extra point."
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey (knee contusion), left guard Chris Kemoeatu (cramps) and left tackle Jonathan Scott (ankle) suffered injuries in the win, but none appear serious.
Pouncey told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that it is unlikely he will undergo an MRI exam to assess damage to his left knee.