With eight seconds left in the game and the Browns wrapping up a victory, defensive end Myles Garrett ripped off the helmet of Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and swung it at him, using it as a weapon.
He was quickly tackled by multiple Steelers offensive linemen, including Maurkice Pouncey, who threw punches at Garrett. It took a while to break up the skirmish, with both sides swarming the field as officials decided what to do with the situation.
“One of the worst things I’ve ever seen on a professional sports field,” said FOX announcer Joe Buck.
“This is barbaric is what this is,” Troy Aikman added.
Baker Mayfield Addresses Myles Garrett Situation
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was asked about the situation after the game and repeatedly called it “inexcusable.”
“I didn’t see why it started but it’s inexcusable,” Mayfield told FOX analyst Erin Andrews. “I don’t care. Rivalry or not, we can’t do that. That’s kind of the history of what’s going on here lately, hurting yourself. It’s inexcusable.
“There’s nothing I can say in that moment to calm him down. The reality is he’s going to get suspended and that hurts our team.”
Mayfield expanded his comments in his postgame presser.
“Instead of feeling like we just won a game that we really needed – we talk about a singular focus and mindset – it feels like we lost,” Mayfield said. “It is going to take time for us to realize that we just won this game, even though it is very obvious on the scoreboard, but that is the tough part.
“It is going to hurt us. Obviously, we do not know what is going to happen, but whatever does happen, next man up mentality. That is how we have to handle it. That is how this locker room has to handle it. We can’t focus on the negative. That never gets you anywhere if you focus on the negative. We have to address it, move forward and see what is going to happen.”
It was an ugly scene all around and will result in multiple suspensions. What’s worse is that the game was all but over, with the Browns up 21-7. After a few meaningless snaps, both teams retreated to the locker rooms.
Garrett will no doubt miss time for his actions, which will not be good for his goal of winning Defensive Player of the Year. Garrett has 10 sacks this season, which is 1.5 off the NFL-lead.
The teams meet again in 17 days and it will be contentious, as it always is, but now with even some extra juice.
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Discipline Has Been Browns Problem This Season
The play embodied what has been wrong with the Browns this season. Cleveland has been one of the most undisciplined teams in the league, whether it has been the piles of penalties or players misbehaving on social media (see Jermaine Whitehead).
The Browns lead the league in penalties accepted (87), penalty yards (822) and ejections (4), which is tied for the most since 2001.
Head coach Freddie Kitchens looked beside himself on the field and made his stance clear after the game.
“That is not who we want to be at the end of the game,” Freddie Kitchens said. “That is not who Myles wants to be. That is not who we are going to be. You have to be able to maintain your composure in times like that and under no circumstances do we want anything like that. I am embarrassed. Myles is embarrassed. It is not good. He understands what he did, he understands it is totally unacceptable, and we have to get through it.”
Garrett, in particular, had a problem controlling himself on the field early on in the season, with three personal foul penalties through the first two games.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin did not want to talk about the incident following the game.
“I’ll keep my thoughts to myself, you saw what happened at the end,” Tomlin said.