PITTSBURGH— Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph says there is “no acceptable” excuse for his role in a brawl with Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett that ended with Garrett ripping off Rudolph’s helmet, then hitting Rudolph in the head with it.
Rudolph said he felt Garrett hit him “late” on the next-to-last snap of Cleveland’s 21-7 victory Thursday. The two players became entangled when Garrett took Rudolph to the ground. Rudolph said he was trying to get Garrett off him when he grabbed the back of Garrett’s helmet. Garrett responded by taking off Rudolph’s helmet and swinging it at Rudolph, smacking him on the right side of his head.
"I took a late shot and didn't agree with the way, you know, he took me to the ground. And my natural reaction was to get him off from on top of me and again, I should have done a better job handling that situation," Rudolph said.
A reporter asked why he appeared to pull at Garrett's helmet in the first place.
"I thought the way he took me down late, you know, this is the last play of the game, basically the last play of the game. I was just trying to get him off of me," Rudolph said.
Rudolph said he is fine and holds no ill will toward Garrett, who is appealing an indefinite suspension handed out by the NFL. Rudolph said he should have done a better job of keeping his composure but did not say anything to escalate what he called an “unfortunate situation.”
Rudolph said he has not yet been notified of any discipline from the NFL but will accept any penalty he receives.