Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett indefinite suspension was upheld by NFL putting his career in jeopardy. Garrett received a suspension for hitting Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with a helmet during a game last week.
The appeals officers also reduced a related suspension to two games from three for Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, who kicked and punched Garrett. Pouncey’s $35,096 fine was reportedly upheld.
The brawl unfolded in the final moments of the Browns 21-7 win over the Steelers. Garrett tackled Rudolph to the ground after a short pass and both players pulled at each other's helmets. Garrett ripped off Rudolph's helmet and swung it, connecting on the top of the quarterback's head. Steelers guard David DeCastro threw Garrett to the ground as Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey punched and kicked Garrett.
According to reports in the US, Garrett during his appeal hearing on Wednesday, accused Rudolph of calling him a racial slur during their altercation. Garrett, was suspended without pay indefinitely by the NFL after the Nov 14 melee.
Garrett's indefinite suspension is the most severe for any one-time on-the-field action by a player since Tennessee Titans lineman Albert Haynesworth received a five-game suspension in 2006.
On Thursday, Rudolph through his representatives denied allegations that Garrett made against him. Steelers spokesperson Burt Lauten said that Mason denies the report of being accused of using a racial slur during the incident Thursday night in Cleveland. He will not discuss this accusation any further, and his focus remains on preparation for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league had looked into the allegation and found no evidence to support it. The league reviewed the game officials’ report; no audio recordings from the field were available. Rudolph has not been fined or suspended for his role in the fight but his agent did not rule out taking legal action against Garrett.
The Browns will face the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Dec. 1.