Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ripped off Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph's helmet and hit him in the head with it in the final seconds of the Browns' 21-7 win Thursday night.
CBSSports.com's Jeff Kerr called it "one of the most inexplicable penalties football fans will ever see." Fox commentator Troy Aikman described Garrett's actions as "barbaric."
It sparked a wild brawl between the rivals.
Garrett faces a likely suspension for his actions and Steelers center Maurice Pouncey will probably be disciplined for kicking Garrett in the head.
Players from both sidelines spilled onto the field during the melee, which began after Garrett wrestled Rudolph to the ground well after he completed a short pass on a meaningless play. Garrett, Pouncey and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi were ejected.
Rudolph got his hand on Garrett's helmet first as the players grappled on the ground, but Garrett escalated things when he got back on his feet. He yanked Rudolph's helmet off and swung wildly, hitting the quarterback on the top of the head. Rudolph threw his arms in the air in disbelief after the impact, and Pouncey retaliated by punching and kicking Garrett.
"Rivalry or not, we can't do that. We're endangering the other team. It's inexcusable," Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said immediately after the game. "The reality is he's going to get suspended, we don't know how long, and that's going to hurt our team."
Garrett, on the other hand, said the incident shouldn't be what's remembered most about this game between rivals. "A win's a win. I don't think it's overshadowed by what happens in 8 seconds," he said, according to The San Jose Mercury.
Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was shown replays of the brawl on the NFL Network set after the contest. "It's ugly," Beckham said. "It's not something we want in the NFL."
Rudolph, a second-year player who took over for the injured Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2, has already missed time this season with a concussion after he was knocked unconscious by a helmet-to-helmet hit by Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas.
"Myles is very upset about it. He's got to maintain his composure," Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said.
First published on November 15, 2019 / 12:59 AM
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