Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph said Friday he will not press criminal charges against Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, deferring to the National Football League all decisions regarding disciplinary action against the player who struck him in the head with his own helmet during Thursday night’s game.
“#Steelers QB Mason Rudolph won’t take legal action against #Browns DE Myles Garrett after last night’s melee, source said. Rudolph considers the situation to be exclusively an NFL matter,” Ian Rapoport, an NFL insider and host of “RapSheet,” wrote on Twitter.
Rudolph, 24 — who became the Steelers’ starting quarterback earlier this season after Ben Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury — said he was feeling OK after the hit with the helmet and was “good to go” for Pittsburgh’s next game, Nov. 24 at Cincinnnati, ESPN reported. But he had strong words regarding Garrett’s action.
“I thought it was cowardly and bush league,” Rudolph said. “There is plenty of tape out there to watch. I haven’t seen it yet. I don’t know what the rules are. I know it was bush league and a total coward move on his part. It’s OK, I’ll take it. I’m not going to back down from any bully out there. We will see what happens.”
The blow to the head was a particular concern because Rudolph had been briefly hospitalized in October after taking a blow to his head during a game against the Baltimore Ravens. The third-quarter hit knocked Rudolph out cold and left some of his Steelers teammates emotional as he lay motionless on the field.
In Thursday’s game, Rudolph had just completed a short pass to running back Trey Edmunds when he was tackled by Garrett. While on the ground, Rudolph appeared to try and grasp Garrett’s helmet. The two then got into a scuffle which ended with Garrett removing Rudolph’s helmet and hitting him with it.
Garrett, 23, was suspended indefinitely at a minimum for the remainder of the regular season and postseason, the NFL said in a statement Friday, for his role in the ugly brawl with the Steelers, in a game that Cleveland won 21-7.
He must also meet with the commissioner’s office prior to a decision on his reinstatement, the NFL said. He was fined an undisclosed amount. The league also fined the Browns and the Steelers $250,000 each over the incident. Garrett also apologized to “Mason Rudolph, my teammates, our entire organization, our fans and to the NFL” in a statement Friday.
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) hits Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) with a helmet during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Cleveland. (Associated Press)
Garrett’s teammate Larry Ogunjobi and Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey were also suspended and fined. Ogunbjobi received a one-game ban without pay and an undisclosed fine for shoving Rudolph during the out-of-control melee. Pouncey received a three-game suspension and was fined an undisclosed amount for “fighting, including punching and kicking an opponent.”
Pouncey then entered the skirmish and punched and kicked Garrett in the helmet. Garrett, Ogunjobi and Pouncey were all ejected.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.