Details Emerge on Browns’ Decision to Punish Star Myles Garrett

Myles Garrett

Getty Images Defensive end Myles Garrett talks with team co-owner Jimmy Haslam.

The Cleveland Browns made the decision to sit defensive superstar Myles Garrett for the start of a must-win game against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday and more details have emerged on the reason why.

Garrett missed just the first series but it meant he wouldn’t get the official start on his resume — a small but still noticeable punishment. The Saints did not score on that first drive with rookie Alex Wright and Chase Winovich starting.

Garrett ended up playing just over two-thirds of the snaps against the Saints, which was below his average for the season. It was likely for a variety of reasons, including game flow in the frigid weather and the fact that he’s been dealing with a shoulder injury he suffered during a car crash earlier this year.

The reason Garrett was held out was “related to him being sick last week and supposedly not properly communicating with the team,” per Mary Kay Cabot of Cabot added that Garrett was also fined for the misstep.

Stefanski on Garrett Benching: ‘That Was My Decision’

Garrett is one of the unquestioned leaders of the Browns and their most impactful player on the defensive side of the ball. The decision to sit him — even for a series — is an interesting one by the Browns but set a precedent for the rest of the team.

Another player who missed time due to discipline this season was safety Grant Delpit. The third-year defensive back was sat for a non-football mistake but missed just a play. In both instances, head coach Kevin Stefanski did not go into detail when asked about the situation.

“That was just a team thing,” Stefanski said on Monday when asked about Garrett’s punishment. “That was my decision.”

Earlier in the year, rookie defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey was called out by Garrett for his conduct during practice. Winfrey missed the next game as a healthy scratch.

Browns Haven’t Discussed Resting Injured Players

With the loss to the Saints, the Browns are out of playoff contention. Garrett and star running back Nick Chubb have battled through injuries but there’s no indication the team will decide to sit them with a pair of technically meaningless games up ahead.

“Those type of conversations, really haven’t gotten into. I know this, every single one of our players wants to compete and wants the opportunity that all of these Sundays provide,” Stefanski said. “I know all of our guys are excited about that. As far as those type of conversations, I haven’t really discussed that yet.”

Both Garrett and Chubb likely have individual accolades they want to work towards. Garrett wants to continue to pile up sacks, with his personal best of 16 within sight. It’s a similar situation for Chubb, who is 150 yards off his career-high for a season. Both have been selected for the Pro Bowl this season.

The Browns are just 6-9 and while the playoffs are out of reach, the final two games could play a part in creating some positive momentum for next season. The team would love to see the roster at full strength in decent weather conditions with Deshaun Watson under center. Watson has gone 2-2 as the starter in four games following his 11-game suspension.

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