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James Harrison Will Not Play Monday Night at San Francisco

Not surprisingly, Steelers Digest is reporting the appeal James Harrison made on his 1-game suspension was denied by Ted Cottrell, one of two men paid by both the league and the union to handle disciplinary appeals.

James Harrison will not play in Pittsburgh's Monday Night game at San Francisco in Week 15.

Harrison appealed the suspension, which was given after he struck Browns QB Colt McCoy in the facemask just miliseconds after McCoy released the ball from outside the pocket. McCoy had tucked the ball, and was running, thus making him a runner and not subject to the same rules as a quarterback.

NFL rules state defensive players are still liable for hitting a quarterback in a defenseless position. The extremely short amount of time between McCoy changing from a runner to a quarterback was likely the grounds for Harrison's appeal, but it wasn't ever considered to be likely to pass.

While Harrison's suspension is a first under NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for actions between the whistles on the field, denial of an appeal certainly isn't a first. Harrison appealed a string of fines in the 2010 season and a portion of the money he was fined was eventually returned.

That is pretty much the only appeal that has ever succeeded.

Goodell and a group of league executives (Ray Anderson and Merton Hanks) dole out the fines and suspensions, and Cottrell and Art Shell - both former coaches and Shell is a former player - hear the appeals. It's rare when details of the appeal surface, but the group almost always sides with the league. The salaries of Cottrell and Shell are provided by both the league and the union in an effort to establish a fair process.

Jason Worilds will start in place of Harrison at the ROLB position, and LaMarr Woodley will return to his usual LOLB position - Worlids has been playing there since a hamstring injury forced Woodley out of action essentially since Week 9.

Harrison, the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year, has eight sacks this season in nine games played.