The NFL took swift and sharp action against Myles Garrett less than 24 hours after he forcefully removed the helmet of Mason Rudolph and swung it at his head, suspending the Cleveland Browns pass rusher not only indefinitely, but “at a minimum” the remainder of 2019. Garrett was condemned on all fronts by teammates that included quarterback Baker Mayfield, who stated outright his expectation of a suspension, and how Garrett’s actions had hurt the team going forward after their 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on “Thursday Night Football”.
On Friday, the league issued judgement, and Garrett has been suspended indefinitely, with All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey — who was seen throwing a punch — along with Larry Ogunjobi also having been suspended.
“The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns organizations have each been fined $250,000 and three players — Cleveland’s Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi, and Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey — have been suspended without pay for their actions in Thursday night’s game.
“Garrett has been suspended without pay indefinitely — at a minimum of the remainder of the regular season and postseason — and must meet with the commissioner’s office prior to a decision on his reinstatement. He was also fined an additional amount. Garrett violated the unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules, as well as fighting, removing the helmet of an opponent and using the helmet as a weapon.
“Pouncey has been suspended without pay for three games and fined an additional amount for fighting, including punching and kicking an opponent.
“Ogunjobi has been suspended without pay for one game and fined an additional amount for unnecessary roughness, specifically for shoving an opposing player to the ground during an altercation.
“Additional discipline for other players will be forthcoming through the standard accountability process, including those players that left the bend to enter the fight area.
“Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspensions may be appealed within three business days. Appeals are heard and decided by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash. The officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.”
Following the news, the Browns issued a statement of their own, condemning Garrett’s actions and apologizing to Rudolph.
“We are extremely disappointed in what transpired last evening at the end of the game. There is no place for that in football and is not reflective of the core values we thrive for as an organization. We sincerely apologize to Mason Rudolph and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Myles Garrett has been a good teammate an member of our organization and community for the last three years, but his actions last night were completely unacceptable. We understand the consequences from the league for his actions.”
Garrett will not be allowed to take the field for the remainder of 2019, but his 2020 season also hangs in the balance. The fact he’s suspended indefinitely gives the NFL full control over when they choose to allow his return, which could be September of next season, or they could add additional games to the six remaining he’ll miss this season to make for a more robust punishment. His absence will be a massive loss for a Browns team that has now pieced together two straight wins, but must go forward without their most dominant defensive player.
Replacing him will be nearly impossible but, more importantly, they agree with what the NFL has decided, and Garrett must now convince commissioner Roger Goodell he belongs back on the field sooner rather than later.