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Harrison Is Suspended for His Hit on Rice

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From Associated Press

San Diego Charger strong safety Rodney Harrison is used to dealing out punishing hits. On Thursday, the NFL hit back.

Harrison was suspended without pay for one game by NFL disciplinarian Gene Washington for his third serious rules violation in two seasons, a helmet-to-helmet hit on Oakland’s Jerry Rice last Sunday.

The Chargers plan to appeal. If the appeal is denied, the all-pro stands to lose $111,764 -- 1/17th of his base pay, which is listed as $1.9 million on the NFL Players Assn’s Web site.

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San Diego, leading the AFC at 6-1, is idle this weekend and plays host to the New York Jets on Nov. 3.

Harrison, who has been fined about $100,000 for various hits during his nine-year career, refused comment as he left the Charger complex after practice. Asked whether he feels he’s a marked man, he smiled, rolled up his car window and drove away.

Later, he issued this statement through the team: “I’m disappointed, but once we go through the appeal process, I’m confident it will be overturned.”

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The Chicago Bears turned to quarterback Chris Chandler for the second consecutive week, naming him the starter after trainers ruled out Jim Miller.

Miller has tendinitis in his throwing shoulder and elbow. He practiced with the first team Wednesday, but the injury flared up. Miller probably will serve as backup quarterback Sunday against Minnesota.

Chandler, who completed 16 of 25 passes for 163 yards with a touchdown and interception in a loss to Detroit last week, took all the first-team snaps in practice Thursday.

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Receivers Terrell Owens and J.J. Stokes practiced with the San Francisco 49ers, but tight end Eric Johnson missed workouts with a back injury that could sideline him this weekend.... New York Giant rookie tight end Jeremy Shockey aggravated a foot injury late in practice and sat out the last part of the workout. Shockey, who has missed most of the last two games because of a toe injury, is expected to play Monday night at Philadelphia.... Former NFL defensive lineman Esera Tuaolo told HBO’s “Real Sports” that he’s gay and kept his homosexuality a secret out of fear other players would try to injure him and end his career. Tuaolo played nine seasons in the NFL and reached the Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons in 1999.

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Emmitt Smith has agreed to give the Pro Football Hall of Fame either the jersey or helmet he wears when he becomes the NFL’s career rushing leader. Smith needs 93 yards to break Walter Payton’s career record of 16,726.... Hall of Famer Art Shell was hired by the NFL to handle player appeals of on-field disciplinary action. Shell was appointed as appeals officer by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

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