Steelers linebacker James Harrison returned to practice today and ended any speculation about him retiring from football.
Harrison was fined $75,000 for his hit Sunday on Cleveland wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, who sustained a concussion on the play.
After being excused from practice Wednesday, Harrison was back today. He did not speak to the media. But he did compose a statement that was handed out just before 4 o'clock.
Here is what that statement said:
"After having some time to think about the situation, talk to my family, friends and the Steelers organization, I have come to the decision that I cannot and will not let the league office stop me from playing the game I love.
"I am all for player safety and I agree that some of the rule changes that have been made are good for the game. As far as my situation, I believe the hit against Massaquoi for which I was fined was legal and well within the scope of the rules. I feel the real reason for the fine was the statement I made after the game wherein I said that I try to hurt people, not injure them. In the same sentence, I attempted to clarify my meaning, but I understand that my comments leave a lot open to interpretation. The statement was not well-thought out and I did not adequately convey my meaning.
"I apologize for making that statement and I want it to be known that I have never and would never intentionally try to injure any player. I believe that my statements, along with the hits that happened in other games this past Sunday and the subsequent media storm, are the reasons I was fined on what I know was a clean hit.
"I will not retire from the NFL. I will continue to play the game with the same passion, intensity and focus with which I have always played and let the chips fall where they may. I have never given up, quit or walked away from anything in my life and I am not about to start now. I will not let down my family, friends or the Steelers Nation."