Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has issued a statement in the wake of his violent outburst in Thursday night’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers that saw Garrett assault Mason Rudolph with his own helmet.
“Last night, I made a terrible mistake,” Garrett said. “I lost my cool and what I did as selfish and unacceptable. 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.”
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Baker Mayfield was one of the first players to be interviewed by the media after the incident occurred and was brutally honest about his opinion on the brawl.
“It’s inexcusable, I don’t care rivalry or not, we can’t do that,” Mayfield told Erin Andrews during an onfield postgame interview. “That’s kind of the history of what’s been going on here lately, hurting yourself, and that’s just endangering the other team that’s inexcusable, he knows that I hope he does now, it’s just tough, we’ll see.”
Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham also denounced Garrett’s actions after the game and said there is no place in the game for them.
“As I’m seeing it now, it’s really bad, it’s just ugly,” Beckham said.
Punishments & Suspensions
The melee has obviously led to swift discipline by the NFL as Garrett has already been suspended indefinitely. Additionally, Garrett will have to meet with the commissioner’s office before he can be eligible for reinstatement in 2020. Browns offensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi was also suspended for one game.
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, who was also involved in the scuffle, has been banned for three games. Both Garrett and Pouncey have also been fined an undisclosed amount. Reports say that Pouncey will appeal the suspension. Mason Rudolph did not get fined or suspended for the incident.
Additionally, both the Steelers and Browns organizations have each been fined $250,000 for their involvement in the incident.
An Ugly Scene in Cleveland
The fight occurred late in the fourth quarter after the game was well in hand. Garrett brought Rudolph to the ground and kept wrestling with him until Garrett eventually ripped Rudolph’s helmet off and used it as a weapon, hitting him in the head with it.
Steelers teammates rushed to Rudolph’s aid, including center Maurkice Pouncey who threw punches and a kick at Garrett.
Play-by-play broadcaster Joe Buck called the play “one of the worst things I’ve ever seen on a professional sports field.”
Multiple suspensions are expected, and many are calling for a lengthy suspension to Garrett, who was clearly the instigator of the violence that broke out. Odds are Garrett will not be eligible to play when the Steelers and Browns meet again in 17 days at Heinz Field. A lengthy suspension will also likely put an end to Garrett’s campaign to win Defensive Player of the Year. His 10 sacks this season is 1.5 shy of the NFL-lead.
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith