On most Fridays in the NFL, there are news items about players getting fined by the league office. With Steelers linebacker James Harrison, it may be bigger news when he’s not fined by the league office.
Harrison was called for a roughing the passer penalty on Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow on Sunday, and he also laid a big hit on the knee of Broncos receiver Eric Decker, knocking Decker out of the wild-card playoff game (and the Broncos’ divisional-round playoff game) and raising questions about whether all the fines Harrison has received for hits to the head have left Harrison’s opponents’ knees vulnerable now that Harrison is lowering his target.
However, the NFL did not fine Harrison, either for the roughing the passer penalty or for the hit on Decker. The hit on Decker was certainly legal, even though Decker is probably wishing he had taken a shot to the helmet. And the hit on Tebow seemed like a relatively minor shove that the officials should have let go. The league office apparently didn’t see any harm done.
The NFL has also confirmed to PFT that four other players who were flagged for personal fouls during the first round of the playoffs will not be fined: Cincinnati’s Reggie Nelson, Houston’s Antonio Smith, Detroit’s Amari Spievey and the New York Giants’ Jacquian Williams. They’ll get their full playoff checks with no deductions.