The last time Mason Rudolph played against the Browns, the game ended in huge controversy. Myles Garrett had hit Rudolph with with the Steelers backup’s helmet at the conclusion of a play.
Rudolph will start at QB for Pittsburgh against the Browns again in Week 17 of the 2020 NFL season. The Steelers are resting Ben Roethlisberger with the AFC North division title already clinched, but Cleveland still wants to win to ensure its first playoff berth since 2002. It’ll be the first time Rudolph and Garrett are on the same field since the incident.
Much was written at the time and has been said since about Garrett’s hitting of Rudolph with the helmet. This is a gathering of what’s been said to remind you why a violent non-football action took place between Garrett and Rudolph.
Why did Myles Garrett hit Mason Rudolph with his helmet?
The incident occurred at the end of a fourth quarter play between the Browns and Steelers on Nov. 14, 2019. Garrett rushed the passer and after Rudolph had gotten rid of the ball, Garrett appeared to get a hand caught in Rudolph’s helmet. In ripping free his hand, Garrett yanked Rudolph’s helmet off the QB’s head and instead had it in his own hand.
What was seen next was this: As a Pittsburgh offensive lineman holds off Garrett, Rudolph leaps up from the ground and attempts to chase after Garrett. That’s when Garrett swings the helmet in his right arm and whacks Rudolph on the top of his head. Rudolph almost immediately turns to the referee standing next to him with his arms outstretched, looking for some kind of punishment.
It’s the reason for Garrett hitting Rudolph that has varying accounts. Garrett said on a February appearance on “Outside the Lines”: “He called me the N-word. He called me a ‘stupid N-word.'” Garrett initially alleged that during his suspension appeals process, saying “I know what I heard” after that account became public.
Rudolph has repeatedly denied that such a phrase was uttered, saying “I couldn’t believe he would go that route after the fact,” and the NFL’s investigation into the matter found no evidence to support it.
Garrett elaborated during his February appearance on “Outside the Lines.”
“I know something was said,” Garrett told ESPN’s Mina Kimes. “Now whether the NFL wants to acknowledge it, that’s up to them. But I don’t want to make it a racial thing, honestly. It’s over with for me. And I’m pretty sure it’s over with for Mason. So we just wanna move past and keep on playing football.”
Myles Garrett suspension details
The NFL suspended Garrett indefinitely after the incident, eventually costing him six missed games and about $1.2 million in lost game pay. They also fined him $45,623. The NFL reinstated Garrett in February.
The league also fined both the Steelers and the Browns $250,000 each. Since the incident started a brawl, it also led to a three-game suspension for Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey and a one-game suspension for Cleveland’s Larry Ogunjobi. Rudolph also received a fine.
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