Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett will have to explain himself to the NFL after one of the most inexplicable actions football fans will ever see. In the final seconds of the Browns’ 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Garrett ripped quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet off and swung it at his head. A melee between both teams followed. The helmet incident and larger fight broke out after Garrett leveled Rudolph to the ground on a pass play to running back Jaylen Samuels. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, all players involved in the incident are going to be under review by the NFL for possible suspensions.
Three players were penalized and ejected from the game. Garrett was the first to be ejected. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was thrown out for tackling Garrett in an attempt to defend Rudolph after the helmet swing while defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi also was removed from the game for his involvement in the scuffle.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield sounded off on Garrett’s action after the game, saying his teammate will be disciplined for his actions.
“Rivalry or not we can’t do that. We’re endangering the other team. It’s inexcusable,” Mayfield said. “The reality is he’s going to get suspended.”
Here’s a closer look at what actually transpired.
Garrett, on the other hand, said that the incident should not be what is 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.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said all players involved in the incident will be under review by the league for possible suspensions. The league will have to determine which players besides the three ejected could be fined or suspended.
The fight between the Steelers and Browns was the culmination of a physical night between both teams. The Steelers were on the receiving end of violent helmet-to-helmet hits throughout the course of the game. The first one occurred when JuJu Smith-Schuster was hit in the helmet by Browns cornerback Greedy Williams and safety Morgan Burnett after the initial helmet-to-helmet contact with Williams. Smith-Schuster left the game with a concussion.
The second helmet-to-helmet hit came when Browns safety Damarious Randall hit Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson after a pass was ruled incomplete. Johnson was hit late on the play by Randall, who looked as if he could have pulled up and avoided the collision altogether. Randall was ejected for targeting while Johnson was down for several minutes before getting up with blood trickling down his right ear. Johnson looked to be in serious pain as he headed to the sideline.
The Steelers lost their top two wide receivers on a night in which Rudolph threw for 221 yards and a career-high four interceptions. Garrett added insult to injury with the punishing hit on Rudolph, which led to the two trading swings before the Browns Pro Bowl defensive end decided to commit the egregious act.
“I thought it was pretty cowardly. Pretty bush league,” Rudolph said after the game. “You can watch the tape, check it out and make your own assumptions. It’s OK; I’ll take it. I’m not gonna take it from any bully.”
Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens didn’t even attempt to defend Garrett for his behavior, admitting he isn’t sure if he’s going to receive a season-ending suspension.
“So there’s 52 other guys on the team that hurt, and it’s going to hurt moving forward,” Kitchens said. “So, we don’t condone that. Myles understands what he did wrong, all right? He’s got to maintain his composure. Just like he had to do at the start of the year. He had to maintain his composure. We had 5 seconds [left] in the game.”