The drama that unfolded Thursday night in Cleveland was inexcusable. Now the NFL has dropped the hammer on those involved in a tragic brawl.
Myles Garrett got the worst of it after being suspended indefinitely by the league for using his helmet as a weapon. The Browns defensive end brutally hit Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph over the head with his own helmet as a vicious skirmish continued to escalate on the field. Cleveland was putting the finishing touches on a 21-7 victory over Pittsburgh, the franchise’s first win over their divisional rival dating back to 2014.
Garrett’s punishment was expected to be harsh, but it seemed slightly odd that Rudolph received no sanctions for his role. It clearly looked like the quarterback instigated the fight when he attempted to rip off Garrett’s helmet at the outset. Seconds later, he appeared to kick Garrett below the waist in a sensitive area.
UPDATE: According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Rudolph will be fined for his role in escalating the Browns-Steelers brawl.
While no one would justify Garrett’s retaliation methods, Rudolph certainly wasn’t an innocent bystander in the fray. Hall of Famer Deion Sanders was one of the first to point out the oversight on Twitter. Sanders reacted in real-time to the possibility of suspending Rudolph.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport commented that more fines and suspensions could be on the horizon. He reminded everyone that penalties related to Thursday night games usually don’t get handed down until a week or so following the incident.
Upset Browns Fans Flood Social Media, Point to Rudolph Kicking Garrett
There is plenty of blame to go around in the infamous fracas between the Browns and Steelers. Myles Garrett was suspended indefinitely and has been ruled out for the rest of the regular season and playoffs.
The Browns’ Larry Ogunjobi was suspended for one game without pay while the Steelers’ Maurkice Pouncy was suspended for three games without pay. The league will continue to investigate and possibly hand out more fines and suspensions in the coming days.
Many Browns fans were upset over the fact there was no punishment levied at Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph. They took to Twitter in droves to share their feelings about a double standard in one of the most disturbing fights in NFL history. In fact, the hashtag “Nothing for Rudolph” began trending in the United States.
Following the NFL’s announcement of the suspensions, there were also several videos making the internet rounds where it certainly looks like Rudolph instigated the fight by kicking and punching Garrett in the groin area.
Rudolph Calls Garrett’s Actions ‘Cowardly’ and ‘Bush League’
After Thursday night’s game, Mason Rudolph quickly called Myles Garrett out on the carpet. He referred to his actions as “cowardly” and “kind of bush league” when talking about Garrett slamming the Steelers quarterback over the head with his own helmet.
“I remember getting hit by a lot of people. There’s plenty of tape out there to watch,” Rudolph told reporters. “I feel fine. I got sacked. We had some words and it kept on keeping on and one thing led to another.”
Rudolph’s teammates all defended their quarterback, with Maurkice Pouncey adding that Garrett could have killed Rudolph. There was talk about Rudolph possibly taking legal action against Garrett, but so far no charges have been brought against him. There was no police report filed with the Cleveland Police Department either.