Cleveland Browns fans planning on wearing a Myles Garrett jersey or other apparel showing support for the suspended defensive end at the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at Heinz Field can rest easy — there is no truth to the rumors that they’ll be barred from entering the stadium.
The hearsay started floating around Tuesday when Andrew Fillipponi of 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh joined Ross Tucker and Carrington Harrison on Home & Home to discuss the anticipated rematch of the AFC North rivals.
“It’s going to be like the Roman Colosseum,” Fillipponi said, via Radio.com. “I had a Heinz Field employee tell me… that he doesn’t think he’s going to let Myles Garrett jerseys into the stadium, [and] that there’s already been a conversation among some of the security staff and people at the gates at the stadium who are on watch for anything that they think is going to create a disturbance inside the stadium.
“Believe it or not, I guess a jersey with a guy’s last name on it is enough to get you either booted or prohibited from the stadium.”
Burt Lauten, the Pittsburgh Steelers Director of Communications, quickly shot down the rumor, saying: A source close to the situation (me) confirmed these reports are absolutely false.
He went on to say the reason they moved the game from 4:25 p.m. to 1 p.m. was to move the game — which is the first matchup between the teams since Garett bashed Steelers QB with a helmet — out of the limelight incase of incidents.
“I had somebody tell me that that’s why they moved the game time,” Fillipponi said. “You can’t tell me that more eyes are going to be on Chiefs-Raiders [on] Sunday.
“The only reason they moved that [the Steelers-Browns] game to 1 p.m. is because they don’t want liquored-up Steelers fans and Browns fans getting arrested.”
Mason Rudolph Benched for Rematch With Browns
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin revealed during a press conference on Tuesday that Devlin “Duck” Hodges will start after leading the team to victory last week against the Bengals in relief of Rudolph.
“The decision is clear for us,” Tomlin said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It goes beyond Mason and his performance. Maybe some of those (injuries to other players) things have worn away at his play.”
Rudolph has not been protecting the ball of late. He has tossed five interceptions to just one touchdown the last two weeks — four of those coming against the Browns.
“He has not killed us,” Tomlin explained when asked about the benefit of starting Hodges. “There are not enough plays on his resume to paint with a broad brush. … There is going to be enough pressure on Devlin to perform, so I’m not going to add to it by talking expectations.”
Browns Seeking Fourth Win in a Row Against Steelers
The Browns are two-point favorites against the Steelers. Cleveland won 21-7 the first time around, stymying the Pittsburgh offense most of the evening.
Since a shocking loss to the Brandon Allen-led Broncos on Nov. 3, the Browns have won three in a row to stay in the AFC playoff race. It’s unlikely Cleveland catches the 9-2 Ravens for the division, but a Wild Card is still a possibility, with the Browns just a game out. A win against the 6-5 Steelers would give them a big shot in the arm.
The Raiders, Colts and Titans are all 6-5 as well and in contention.