Myles Garrett used an opponent’s helmet as a weapon to hit Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head, an attack played over and over on TV and social media. He was swiftly suspended by the NFL.
The violence unfolded with shocking clarity with seconds remaining in Cleveland’s 21-7 win over the Steelers on Thursday night.
After Garrett wrapped up Rudolph and took him down with a late, hard tackle, the players tussled on the ground, with Rudolph tugging at Garrett’s helmet.
Garrett, the massive defensive end, then grabbed Rudolph’s black helmet by the facemask and yanked it off while lifting the rookie quarterback off the turf.
Rudolph angrily tried to go after Garrett but he was blocked by teammates David DeCastro and Matt Feiler, who tried to separate the players. Instead, Garrett, using his right hand, swung the helmet and landed a blow to the top of Rudolph’s head.
DeCastro then wrestled Garrett to the ground as Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey came flying in from the players’ right, throwing punches at Garrett. When Garrett landed in the orange and brown-striped end zone, Pouncey kicked Garrett in the head and continued punching him as he fell on top of a pile of players.
In the end, Garrett was suspended for at least the rest of the season and playoffs for conduct that seems certain to taint his Pro Bowl career. He must meet with the commissioner before he is considered for reinstatement.