The AFC North is known for its hostile rivalries, but the Steelers and Browns took it to the next level in Cleveland on Nov. 14, 2019. The main culprits were Mason Rudolph and Myles Garrett, both of whom are still on their respective rosters, although it’s unlikely they’ll face each other Thursday.
What exactly caused the brawl is a point of contention, and it seems there are still some unresolved feelings hanging in the air. But Garrett incurred an indefinite suspension after swinging at Rudolph with his own helmet.
The melee was ugly, large, and long-lasting. Since, Garrett has signed a massive contract with Cleveland whereas Rudolph is still with the Steelers as their third-string quarterback.
Here’s a look at the brawl and its fallout.
What started the Mason Rudolph – Myles Garrett brawl?
When talking about the origins of the massive “Thursday Night Football” scrum in 2019, we’re immediately faced with our first controversy: What started the fight?
In a 21-7 game that the Browns had already all but won with the fourth quarter wrapping up, Garrett wrapped up Rudolph on a swing pass and drove him to the ground. The Steelers offensive line came to Rudolphs assistance, dragging Garrett off, who tore off Rudolph’s helmet. While still being restrained, Garrett swing over the Steelers’ linemen and hit Rudolph in the head with his own helmet.
myles garrett rips mason rudolph’s helmet off after the play & hits him with it pic.twitter.com/uGRn0CXSDN
— ego (@notmalkinego) November 15, 2019
As an indignant Rudolph turned to the officials in confusion, Larry Ogunjobi blindsided him and knocked him to the ground, further escalating the situation.
As for why Garrett was so irate? “He called me the N-word. He called me a ‘stupid N-word,'” Garrett alleged on “Outside the Lines.”
Rudolph and Mike Tomlin have vehemently denied the claim, with Rudolph saying he “couldn’t believe he would go that route after the fact” and Tomlin saying he supports Rudolph as someone who was on the field.
What punishment did Myles Garrett receive?
After the Week 11 matchup, Garrett received an indefinite suspension and a fine of $45,623. His suspension was to last for at least the rest of the regular season.
After Garrett appealed the suspension and lost, he had to apply with Roger Goodell for reinstatement in 2020. It was at this time he alleged Rudolph called him the aforementioned slur.
Garrett was reinstated Feb. 12, 2020 and received his extension on July 15.
The Steelers and Browns, with the game being a national broadcast, were fined $250,000 each. Rudolph was fined $50,000 for his role, while Maurkice Pouncey incurred a three-game suspension and Ogunjobi got one game. Ogunjobi, of course, is with the Steelers now.
What was the fallout of the brawl?
Garrett said since the brawl he wanted to talk to Rudolph, although it took them a while to get there. The two shook hands on “Sunday Night Football” after a Browns 24-22 win.
Leading into that handshake, Rudolph said he and Garrett hadn’t talked.
“I’m happy to hear Myles out with whatever he would — if he wants to approach me, if he wants to talk,” Rudolph said on New Years in 2021, per ESPN.
He’s a great player, and they are playing well as a defense. He’s a menace in the backfield. He’s very disruptive. When they are playing at their best, he’s sack-fumbling and he’s getting to the quarterback. Obviously, you are very aware of that, and you treat him with great respect.
There appears to be a degree of civility between the two now, despite the icy fallout in the immediate aftermath. Don’t expect many fireworks heading into Thursday’s game.