Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last few days, you’re probably aware of the altercation that took place at the end of the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football.
Cleveland was leading 21-7 with just 14 seconds remaining in the game. Browns defensive end Myles Garrett took Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph to the ground after Rudolph completed an 11-yard pass to Trey Edmunds. Rudolph and Garrett began fighting on the ground, continuing to tussle as they got to their feet. While video showed Rudolph wasn’t exactly blameless, it was Garrett who took the ultimate step: removing Rudolph’s helmet and using it to strike his head.
Two Kansas City Chiefs players were asked about it on Friday.
”I didn’t watch the game; I had to be up pretty early,” said safety Tyrann Mathieu. “But yeah, it was uncalled for. It really shouldn’t happen at any level of football. It’s unnecessary. That’s it.”
Linebacker Reggie Ragland was willing to go into more detail.
”Man... all of our tempers flare at some point in this game,” he said. “But hitting a man in the head with a helmet? Even though Mason Rudolph might have started it by trying to pull his off, we know we’ve got to control ourselves at all costs.”
Ragland said that from what he knows, Garrett is a “good dude,” but in his mind, that doesn’t excuse his behavior on Thursday.
”I understand it.” he said. “Our tempers flare sometimes, but we can’t do that in this league.”
Ragland also said he understood why other players entered the brawl: it was about protecting their quarterback — and each other.
”I love Pat, man. But even if there was any dude in this locker room [to whom] that happened, I’m around for my brothers in the locker room regardless. You don’t do that. He really could have been hurt.”
On Friday, the NFL suspended Garrett indefinitely, saying that he will miss at least the rest of this season (and the postseason) without pay. Garrett also received a fine.
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was also suspended for three games without pay. Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was suspended without pay for a single game. Both players also received fines.
Garrett and Ogunjobi plan to appeal their suspensions.
While Rudolph has not been suspended, he has received a fine — and other players involved may also receive fines. In addition, both the Steelers and the Browns have been fined $250,000.