Even Myles Garrett’s own teammates can’t defend his actions on Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Cleveland Browns defensive end started a brawl in the final seconds of their 21-7 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night after tackling Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph. Garrett then ripped Rudolph’s helmet off and swung that helmet, hitting Rudolph square in the head with it.
Suspension coming for this. Guaranteed pic.twitter.com/saURgKlnBs— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) November 15, 2019
It was a truly ugly scene — one that Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was quick to condemn just seconds after the game ended.
“It’s inexcusable,” Mayfield told Fox’s Erin Andrews. “I don’t care, rivalry or not, we can’t do that. That’s kind of the history of what's been going on here lately, hurting yourself. That’s just endangering the other team.
“That’s inexcusable. He knows that, I hope he does, now. It’s tough. We’ll see … The reality is he’s going to be suspended. We don’t know how long, and that hurts our team. We can’t do that. We can’t continue to hurt this team. It’s inexcusable.”
While it’s easy to see why Mayfield would slam Garrett for his actions, Fox color analyst Troy Aikman was quick to point out how unusual that type of reaction is coming from someone in Mayfield’s position.
“I don’t think it’s often you have your franchise quarterback being that direct and that forthcoming immediately following a game, or at any point really, when it comes to a teammate,” Aikman said.
Browns coach Freddie Kitchens joined Mayfield in criticizing his defensive end after the game, too.
“Of course that’s not who we want to be at the end of the game,” Kitchens said. “That’s not who Myles wants to be. That’s not who we’re going to be.
“Under no circumstance do we want anything to do with anything like that. I’m embarrassed. Myles is embarrassed. It’s not good.”
Mayfield wasn’t the only Browns player to slam Garrett, either.
Odell Beckham Jr. — who had 60 yards on four receptions Thursday — joined many across the football world in doing so.
“It’s ugly,” Odell Beckham said. “It’s not something we want in the NFL. I know this is an intense game and there’s a lot of emotions running high, but you can’t have stuff like that ... It’s just ugly, man. It’s just ugly. I understand there’s a rivalry and stuff like that, but there’s just no place in this game for that.”
Fellow wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who had 43 yards and a touchdown in the win, echoed Beckham’s comments.
“Whatever happened, it was definitely disappointing and embarrassing,” Landry said. “But we don’t know what happens next now, so we’ll see.
“Once I saw punches, that’s when I knew it was pretty serious. We need everybody to go on this trip we’re trying to take. We’ll see what happens. We have to be smarter.”
The Browns still pulled out the victory, their second-straight, to move to 4-6 on the year. Mayfield went 17-of-32 for 193 yards and two touchdowns, too. For a Browns team fighting for position in the AFC, Thursday’s divisional win was certainly a big one.
Mayfield, though, said it doesn’t feel like it one bit.
“That’s the bad part. Instead of feeling like we just won a game that we really needed … it feels like we lost,” Mayfield said, via Scott Petrak of The Chronicle-Telegram. “It’s going to take time for us to realize that we just won this game, even though it’s very obvious on the scoreboard. That’s the tough part.”
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