NFL notebook

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 15, 2011

Associated Press
The NFL notebook …
PITTSBURGH — Steelers linebacker James Harrison is having his appeal hearing on his one-game suspension.
The hearing, via video conference call Wednesday, is being conducted by Ted Cottrell, who was hired by the league and the NFL Players Association to oversee such appeals. No decision is expected until Thursday at the earliest.
Harrison was suspended Tuesday for Pittsburgh’s game next Monday night at San Francisco because of his helmet-to-helmet hit on Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy, who suffered a concussion. That hit came in Pittsburgh’s 14-3 win on Dec. 8.
The NFL cited Harrison’s history of flagrant hits — this was his fifth on a quarterback — in making him the first player suspended under stricter guidelines for player safety that were invoked midway through last season.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Ndamukong Suh is back with the Detroit Lions. And he’s not interested in rehashing the past.
Suh declined to answer questions Wednesday about his two-game suspension and car accident after rejoining his teammates for the first time in two-plus weeks.
“The most important thing right now is this football team and not me individually,” Suh said.
The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year was forced by the NFL to sit out two games without pay for stepping on the right arm of Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith during a loss on Thanksgiving Day.
BEREA, Ohio — Although James Harrison’s devastating, illegal hit on Colt McCoy was witnessed by millions on television and thousands at Heinz Field, Cleveland’s medical staff did not realize the severity of the blow when it treated the quarterback.
That was the explanation given by Browns President Mike Holmgren on Wednesday, one day after NFL medical officials and representatives of the Players Association met with the Browns to discuss the team’s controversial handling of McCoy’s head injury and possible changes to the league’s policies on concussions.
INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Manning has some rare good news for the NFL’s only winless team: His ramped-up rehabilitation program includes more throwing.
Coach Jim Caldwell said Wednesday that Manning has picked up his regimen, though the four-time league MVP was not scheduled to practice with his teammates Wednesday. It’s still unclear when or if Manning will return to the practice field and what the repertoire includes, though he acknowledged two weeks ago that throwing more was the next step in his recovery.
“That’s what he does,” Caldwell said when asked about throwing the ball. “They have been working with him in that area.”