In a prepared, written statement, Mason Rudolph admitted to not handling the end of Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Browns well enough.
“Thursday night, to say the least, was an unfortunate situation for everyone involved,” Rudolph told reporters Wednesday. “I consider it a privilege, not a right, to be part of the NFL. To be part of a first class organization, representing the Rooney family and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I fell short of that expectation Thursday night. With how I played, I did not do a good enough job to help our team win. Looking back on the final play of the game, the second to last play of the game, I fell short of the mark there too. Should’ve done a better job of keeping my cool in that situation. In retrospect, I put Maurkice Pouncey, probably one of the best teammates I’ve ever had, in a tough spot.”
The whole world knows what happened at the close of the Steelers’ loss to the Browns but to recap. With eight seconds to go, Myles Garrett took Rudolph to the ground. While on the ground, Rudolph and Garrett get involved in a skirmish, Rudolph attempted – but failed – to remove Garrett’s helmet. Back on their feet, Garrett took off Rudolph’s helmet and then hit him on the head with it. David DeCastro took Garrett to the ground while Maurkice Pouncey punched and kicked him. Browns’ defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi than blindsided a helmet-less Rudolph to the ground.
Garrett, Pouncey, and Ogunjobi were all ejected. Garrett has been suspended indefinitely, Pouncey for three games, and Ogunjobi for one. All three players have heard their appeals heard this week, though the outcomes are not currently known.
Rudolph hasn’t been suspended but likely to be fined, something he says he will accept.
“I’m sure whatever the league hands out, I’m going to comply with that. We’ll see what happens. I have not received anything yet.”
After announcing the initial suspensions, the league said they would hand out fines after investigating the incident further. Several Steelers could be fined, especially ones who left the bench to run onto the field during the fight.
From that screengrab alone, the players who may be fined include: Mark Barron, Cam Heyward, Cam Sutton, TJ Watt, Jordan Dangerfield, Chris Boswell, Jordan Berry, Vince Williams, Minkah FItzpatrick, Terrell Edmunds, Kameron Canaday, Robert Spillane, and Isaiah Buggs.
Rudolph said he was frustrated for the injuries that happened during the game and that boiled over at the end.
“We had already lost two of our players to targeting penalties to the game. As I relased the ball, I took a late shot. Did not agree with the way he took me to the ground. My natural reaction was just to get him off of me. Again, I should have done a better job handling that situation.”
Rudolph went on to say he has no “ill will” towards the situation but has not spoken to Garrett since the fight.
You can hear his full comments below.