It started when Browns defensive end Myles Garrett wrapped up Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph just after he completed a pass to Terrell Edmunds with 14 seconds left on the clock. Garrett clung to Rudolph and pulled him to the turf, where he proceeded to pull off the young quarterback’s helmet and, once two other Steelers had him stood him, smack Rudolph with it after he came for retaliation.
After Rudolph was hit, Steelers guard David DeCastro tossed Garrett onto his back in the end zone as Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey came in throwing punches and eventually landed a kick into Garrett’s helmet. The chaos took some time to defuse as several tense minutes before play resumed.
“One of the worst things I’ve ever seen on a professional sports field,” Buck said on Thursday’s broadcast during a brief break while NFL officials in New York determined what immediate action needed to be taken against which players. His broadcast partner, Troy Aikman, also decried the events as “barbaric.”
Offsetting penalties were called against Garrett, Pouncey and Cleveland defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi along with corresponding disqualifications, but the wild scene won’t end there as both teams will await news from the league on fines and suspensions — perhaps for multiple games, as Buck also suggested.
Follow the Heavy on Browns Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Sour End to Good Night for Browns
Buck and Aikman both were commending the Browns not 20 minutes before the brawl broke out at the end of the game, as Baker Mayfield tossed for two touchdown passes and rushed in for another to take an important home matchup against an AFC North rival.
The Steelers couldn’t find answers for most of the night against a Browns team that has been criticized as undisciplined, careless and sloppy throughout their 4-6 start. Cleveland badgered Rudolph all night, picking off four of his passes and sacking him four times to make for one of his worst performances of the season. The loss of two star players — running back James Conner and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster — didn’t make things any easier on Pittsburgh.
Still, Mayfield was the surprising voice of reason in the postgame as he decried that type of behavior from a member of his team, a move that both broadcasters praised after the fact.
“It’s inexcusable,” Mayfield said in the postgame. “I don’t care, rivalry or not, we can’t do that. 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 (or) I hope he does now. It’s tough, we’ll see.
“The reality is he’s going to get suspended. We don’t know how long and that hurts our team. And we can’t do that. We can’t continue to hurt this team.”
Head coach Freddie Kitchens also added in the postgame that he was “embarrassed,” as was Garrett, for the entire incident. Rudolph, meanwhile, remained bitter and called Garrett’s helmet swing “cowardly,” while Pouncey — who will likely also face action for his role in the brawl — said Garrett should “absolutely, 100 percent” be suspended for the rest of the season.
“We’ll see how serious the NFL is,” Pouncey said.