In one act, Myles Garrett made himself public enemy number one in the NFL overnight after striking a blow to the head of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, which the player’s own helmet, using it as a weapon.
Cleveland Browns teammates and coaches have (almost) unanimously spoken out against what Garrett did and recognized that he has to be disciplined for his illegal and perhaps criminal conduct, which initiated a brawl among players that ultimately saw three players, including Garrett, ejected.
But let’s not forget the other Browns defender who was ejected, defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, and what he did.
Very shortly after Garrett struck Rudolph in the head, and David DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey were bringing the defensive end to the ground in response to his assault, the quarterback eventually turned his attention to that melee. Ogunjobi then came up behind Rudolph and shoved him in the back, spilling him to the ground, right after he suffered a direct blow to the head, as he stood there unaware and without a helmet on. You can see that below.
Quite frankly, I can’t find the interview as of the time of this writing, but apparently Ogunjobi explained his actions after the game by saying that he was defending his teammate, though there is no logical way to justify that.
You don’t defend somebody who is being roughed up by two people by blindsiding the guy who the guy on the ground hit in the head with a weapon while he is completely unaware that you’re even behind him, and while he is making no effort to get physically involved in the melee.
Ogunjobi was not defending his teammate, as is glaringly obvious, and there is also no defending his actions. What he did was also completely outside of the bounds of the game of football, which is why he was ejected, and he deserves to be suspended for at least one game as well.
Typically, the league might withhold a suspension for a player if he was ejected from a game, but these ejections came with eight seconds left. That’s hardly a fitting consequence for what we saw out there on the field.
If the league wants to make this right, then the Browns need to field a defensive line without BOTH Garrett and Ogunjobi the next time they take the field. Even Baker Mayfield said after the game that it feels as though the Browns lost the game because of the way things ended.
And it was all completely unnecessary, seemingly a byproduct of a culture that has no idea of what it’s like to actually win, or to have accountability. Now it’s up to the league to hold them accountable.