There were less than 10 seconds left in the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns before Myles Garrett decided to rock the NFL world by hitting Mason Rudolph with his helmet. What was supposed to be a triumphant moment for the Browns turned into a disaster that should lead to a media firestorm for days to come. Not only that, but they could be losing their best pass rusher for the season.
The Oakland Raiders are familiar with losing one of their top defenders for the season as Vontaze Burfict was suspended after a dirty hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle. Many didn’t think the suspension was warranted and it’s safe to say that Oakland will be watching the Garrett situation very closely.
Burfict has an infamous history in the NFL, but fans of the Raiders took to Twitter to point out that Garrett should at least receive the same suspension that the linebacker did.
While it’s fair to suggest Garrett deserves a long suspension, the two situations aren’t necessarily related.
Is It Fair to Compare the Two?
What Garrett did was egregious and was borderline illegal. However, Burfict and he aren’t really worth comparing. The Raider linebacker has been fined 13 times for hits and was also suspended on two occasions before the latest one. Burfict got suspended for the whole year because of his history, not because his hit on Jack Doyle was that dirty.
That being said, nothing Burfict has ever done comes even close to Garrett’s recent actions. Hitting somebody’s naked head with a helmet could result in death if hit hard enough. If it wasn’t for Garrett getting pushed back by a Steelers offensive lineman while he was directing the hit at Rudolph, the defensive end could’ve been leaving the stadium in a police car.
What Burfict has done in the past is make a series of dumb, dirty plays and a couple bad looking moments after the whistle. However, nothing he’s done is up to the level of what Garrett did. While the situations are very different, Garrett should see a similar suspension to what Burfict was dealt. If the Browns defensive end is merely suspended for four or five games, expect the Raiders to voice their displeasure.
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Former Raiders React
Garrett’s action has caused one of the biggest stories of the NFL year and many former players have reacted. Many of the former players who reacted were former Raiders. ESPN analyst and former Raider Louis Riddick went off on Garrett.
Garrett’s actions are a seriously bad look for the NFL and he’s fortunate it didn’t end much worse. Charles Woodson and Rod Woodson also chimed in.
Garrett isn’t the only one at fault as Mason Rudolph clearly egged him on. However, the defensive end took it way too far. It was a shocking move and hurts his team as they finally seemed to put things together. He also could’ve put his NFL career in jeopardy. The way the NFL disciplines is ambiguous and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Garrett gets a lifetime ban. That is unlikely, but it’s very possible his season is done. It could be a disappointing end for one of the most productive pass rushers in the NFL.