Brawl sparked when Browns star hits Steelers quarterback with helmet, players suspended
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ripped off Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet and hit him in the head with it in the final seconds of the Browns’ 21-7 win Thursday night.
CBSSports.com’s Jeff Kerr called it “one of the most inexplicable penalties football fans will ever see.” Fox commentator Troy Aikman described Garrett’s actions as “barbaric.”
It sparked a wild brawl between the rivals.
The NFL announced late Friday morning that both organizations will be fined $250,000 each.
Garrett, along with fellow player Larry Ogunjobi, of the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncy will all be suspended without pay due to their actions.
“Garrett has been suspended without pay indefinitely at a minimum for the remainder of the regular season and postseason and—must meet with the commissioner’s office prior to a decision on his reinstatement,” the NFL said in a release.
Pouncey will be suspended without pay for three games and fined an additional amount for fighting.
Ogunjobi has been suspended without pay for one game and fined an additional amount for “unnecessary roughness.”
Browns DE Myles Garrett has been suspended indefinitely.
Browns DT Larry Ogunjobi has been suspended one game. Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey has been suspended three games.
In addition, Steelers and Browns organizations each fined $250,000. pic.twitter.com/tY6o5Ozjf2
— NFL (@NFL) November 15, 2019
Players from both sidelines spilled onto the field during the melee, which began after Garrett wrestled Rudolph to the ground well after he completed a short pass on a meaningless play. Garrett, Pouncey and Browns defensive tackle Ogunjobi were ejected.
The NFL said additional discipline for other players will be forthcoming, including those who left the bench to enter the fight area.
Rudolph got his hand on Garrett’s helmet first as the players grappled on the ground, but Garrett escalated things when he got back on his feet. He yanked Rudolph’s helmet off and swung wildly, hitting the quarterback on the top of the head. Rudolph threw his arms in the air in disbelief after the impact, and Pouncey retaliated by punching and kicking Garrett.
“Rivalry or not, we can’t do that. We’re endangering the other team. It’s inexcusable,” Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said immediately after the game. “The reality is he’s going to get suspended, we don’t know how long, and that’s going to hurt our team.”
Garrett, on the other hand, said the incident shouldn’t be what’s remembered most about this game between rivals. “A win’s a win. I don’t think it’s overshadowed by what happens in 8 seconds,” he said, according to The San Jose Mercury.
Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was shown replays of the brawl on the NFL Network set after the contest. “It’s ugly,” Beckham said. “It’s not something we want in the NFL.”
Rudolph, a second-year player who took over for the injured Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2, has already missed time this season with a concussion after he was knocked unconscious by a helmet-to-helmet hit by Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas.
“Myles is very upset about it. He’s got to maintain his composure,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said.