The NFL has suspended Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett without pay for at least the remainder of the season and post-season after his helmet-swinging outburst against the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday night.
The league announced the decision Friday morning, including $250,000 fines for both the Browns and Steelers. In addition, Steelers centre Maurkice Pouncey has been suspended three games and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi for one game.
Per the NFL’s statement, Garrett “must meet with the commissioner’s office prior to a decision on his reinstatement.” Garrett has also been fined an additional amount, which was not specified in the release.
In the final seconds of Thursday night’s divisional matchup, Garrett and Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph got into a shoving match that quickly got out of hand when Garrett ripped Rudolph’s helmet off and swung it at him, hitting Rudolph in the head with it.
The ugly scene continued with Steelers guard David DeCastro and Pouncey throwing Garrett to the ground and Pouncey punching and kicking him in the head as players from both sides rushed to the skirmish.
Garrett, Pouncey, and Ogunjobi – who tackled Rudolph from behind after he’d been struck – were all ejected from the game. Rudolph told reporters later that he felt “fine” after the incident.
Garrett was also made available to the media after the game, a 21-7 win, and called his actions “foolish.”
“What I did was foolish, and I shouldn’t have allowed myself to slip like that,” he said. “It’s out of character.”
Garrett released a formal statement via the team later Friday, following the suspension announcement, issuing an apology to Rudolph and all involved.
“Last night, I made a terrible mistake. I lost my cool and what I did was selfish and unacceptable. I know that we are all responsible for our actions and I can only prove my true character through my actions moving forward,” read the statement. “I want to apologize to Mason Rudolph, my teammates, our entire organization, our fans and to the NFL. I know I have to be accountable for what happened, learn from my mistake and I fully intend to do so.”
The league statement also indicated “additional discipline for other players will be forthcoming through the standard accountability process, including those players that left the bench to enter the fight area.”