According to May Kay Cabot, Cleveland Browns beat writer for Cleveland.com, Browns stars “Kareem Hunt and Myles Garrett bonded [during] the offseason over their shared adversity,” a reference to the fact that both players were suspended by the NFL for large portions of last season. That’s probably not what Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski wanted Hunt to lead with during Browns-Steelers week.
But that’s not all. Hunt also appears to have dedicated this Sunday’s effort against the Pittsburgh Steelers to Garrett, telling Cabot, “Myles is a great player, a great person and a great teammate…. This one is for Myles. This one is for Cleveland Browns fans. This one is for a lot of things.”
Hunt’s quotes might not be on-the-nose bulletin board material for the Steelers, but those statements—including the cryptic ‘for a lot of things’ part—are likely to ruffle some feathers in Pittsburgh and beyond.
Suspensions in Review: Myles Garrett and Kareem Hunt
If you recall, Myles Garrett was suspended from the NFL indefinitely after ripping off the helmet of Steelers backup quarterback Mason Rudolph and hitting him over the head with it at the conclusion of the Steelers-Browns game on November 14, 2019. He missed the last six games of the 2019 season, then the league reinstated him in February of this year, paving the way for the Browns to sign him to a five-year, $125 million contract extension.
For his part, Kareem Hunt was suspended for the first eight games of the 2019 season after video surfaced that showed him assaulting a 19-year-old woman at a Cleveland hotel in February 2018.
Hunt told Cabot that their shared experience, if you will, helped bring the two closer together.
“Nobody likes having their season cut short. I know I didn’t. I’m almost positive I know Myles wasn’t [happy] either,” Hunt said, later adding, “You just learn a lot going through situations like that. You just have to come ready, forget about all that stuff and do whatever you can….”
Hunt on Garrett: ‘He’ll Keep His Emotions in Check’
As for Sunday’s game against the 4-0 Steelers, Hunt predicts that Garrett—not to mention the rest of the team—will keep their composure all game long.
“We have a new team, new coaches, new everything and a new record,” he told Cabot. “We definitely have to come out, be ready to play, keep our emotions in check and keep playing in between the whistles. That is for everybody. We have to be smart. It’s going to be a long, physical game.”
That is probably true, and it’s likely both Garrett and Hunt will play pivotal roles in the outcome, assuming Hunt is good-to-go after a thigh injury left him a limited participant in practice on Wednesday.
Garrett, the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, is second in the NFL with six sacks and he has also recorded 13 solo tackles, with three tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hits, three forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries.
Hunt, who came into the NFL as a third-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017, is Cleveland’s leading rusher, with 70 carries for 347 yards and three touchdowns so far this season.
But Hunt says that regardless what happens on Sunday in Pittsburgh, the team will support Garrett as it attempts to raise its record to 5-1 and move into at least a share of first place in the AFC North.
“Yes, we love Myles,” said Hunt. “We have Myles’ back no matter what, and he definitely has ours too. We all that know. Can’t ask for a better teammate than Myles.”
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