Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett had his appeal hearing with NFL officials on Wednesday for his helmet-swinging incident against the Pittsburgh Steelers and is now in a holding pattern as he awaits the news.
ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that Garrett’s hearing last just over two hours and a decision could come before the weekend.
Garrett was suspended “indefinitely” for hitting Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph over the head with his helmet last Thursday. It was reported that the suspension would be for at least the final six games of the season and the playoffs.
Garrett’s appeal is reportedly based on precedent, according to ESPN NFL Insider Dan Graziano.
“Source says Myles Garrett appeal argument is precedent-based. Antonio Smith got 2 preseason games, plus one regular season game for swinging helmet at Incognito in 2013. Ergo, even six games (remainder of this season) is too long, they argue. And of course, indefinite suspension unacceptable.”
Garrett released a statement following the incident.
“I lost my cool and what I did was selfish and unacceptable,” Garrett wrote. “I know that we are all responsible for our actions and I can only prove my true character through my actions moving forward. I want to apologize to Mason Rudolph, my teammates, our entire organization, our fans and to the NFL. I know I have to be accountable for what happened, learn from my mistake and I fully intend to do so.”
Myles Garrett Representing Himself at Hearing
Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens confirmed that Garrett represented himself at the hearing while speaking to reporters on Wednesday.
“Myles has great representation,” head coach Freddie Kitchens said Wednesday morning. “More importantly, Myles will represent himself well. We’re going to continue to support him and Larry and we will not waver with that support.”
While the team fully support’s Garrett’s quest to have his suspension reduced, the Browns focus is on another must-win matchup against the Dolphins as they look to stay in the playoff race.
“Here in this building today, we’re worried about Miami,” Kitchens said. “We can’t control that. We couldn’t control initially all the sentencing and stuff like that. We’re just going to control what we can control. We got nothing to do with that.”
The Browns have been one of the most undisciplined teams in the league and Garrett’s suspension highlighted that. According to Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan, the Browns have have committed 23 flagrant 15-yard fouls in the roughing, taunting, blindside hits and unsportsmanlike categories.
“Well, we talk all the time about being the smartest, toughest football team and sometimes one of those things don’t happen and you decrease your chances of winning and you decrease your chances of being successful and we want to add both of those to the mix, not one without the other. So you have to be both,” Kitchens said. “That’s a continual conversation topic and will always be discussed.”
Roger Goodell Reveals How Garrett Could Reduce Suspension
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke on the suspension on Pre-Flight Playbook with Gary Myers. He didn’t hold back when asked about the incident.
“There’s no place for that in the game,” Goodell said. “He will not play the rest of the season. He will probably meet with us sometime in the offseason, and I think we’ll make a judgment on does he have remorse? Does he understand why it’s not acceptable? Do we understand what he’s going to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again? Those are the things that are going to be very important for us.”
On top of Garrett’s suspension, both organizations were fined $250,000 for the incident while Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi and Steelers offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey were suspended. Pouncey got a three-game ban and Ogunjobi will miss one. Pouncey and Ogunjobi both appealed their suspensions this week.
The NFL announced on Wednesday that Ogunjobi’s one-game suspension would be upheld for his role in the fight, but his $10,527 fine would be rescinded.
No suspension or fine has been announced for Rudolph, who addressed the incident prior to Steelers practice on Wednesday.
“I consider it a privilege, not a right to be a part of the NFL. To be part of a first class organization … and I fell short of that expectation last Thursday night.”