Was Mason Rudolph the Actual Antagonist in Myles Garrett Fight?

Getty Mason Rudolph of the Pittsburgh Steelers fights with defensive end Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns

The fight during the final six seconds of Thursday Night Football’s divisional bout between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers could be summed up simply as one of the “worst things seen in sports.” At least that’s what announcer Joe Buck referred to it as on live national television during the midst of arguably the most tenacious brawl in NFL history.

And based on the immediate reactions, many agree with that sentiment.

However, while Myles Garrett was undoubtedly in the wrong, was Mason Rudolph, the player that took the brunt of the brutality on Thursday night, actually somewhat of an antagonist?

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Mason Rudolph Grabs Myles Garrett’s Helmet First [WATCH]

In the final moments of what should have been a celebratory victory for the Browns on Thursday night, joy quickly fizzled out of the stadium when defensive end Myles Garrett removed Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet. He then proceeded to swing it in the direction of Rudolph, making contact with his head.

Simply put, the actions were not warranted. However, were they somewhat instigated? Check out the video below to see what you think, as Rudolph appears to be set off by what he perceived to be a non-call late-hit/roughing the passer.

In the video you can see Rudolph forcefully attempting to remove Garrett’s helmet, nearly ripping it straight off the defender’s head.

While Garrett has stolen the headlines for his atrocious actions following this interaction, that didn’t stop a plethora of Twitter users from pointing out that Rudolph was not fully innocent in Thursday night’s brawl. Former NFL greats like OJ Simpson and Deion Sanders were some of the first few to point this out.

Suspension Handed Down by NFL

The NFL wasted little time with their decision on a few key suspensions, but Rudolph was not listed initially. As NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero revealed, the league suspended Garrett indefinitely.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter explained that the suspension is for at least the remainder of the 2019-20 regular season and NFL playoffs.

Maurkice Pouncey of the Steelers will likely endure the next largest suspension. Pouncey, who admits he blacked out with rage after seeing what Garrett did to his quarterback, proceeded to throw punches and kicks in the defensive end’s direction.

As Michael Signora of the NFL detailed, Pouncey received a three-game suspension while Larry Ogunjobi was given one game.

Pouncey’s action will certainly hurt his team, as losing a player of his caliber is certainly no small task to overcome. However, the masses in Pittsburgh seem to support their lineman’s action.

Steeler Nation isn’t the only one backing Pouncey following the brawl. Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen and former Baltimore Ravens defensive back Lardarius Webb also made their sentiment be felt about how they would behave had it been their quarterback taking a swinging helmet to the head.

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