I thought it was bad during the first 59 minutes, the number of times that Cleveland Browns defensive players made contact to the heads of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mason Rudolph himself had been hit in the head three or four times, including one helmet-to-helmet shot that drew a roughing the passer penalty in the first half.
Then the last few seconds of the game elapsed, and you surely saw what happened. Myles Garrett assaulted Rudolph, ripping his helmet off of his head and then slamming it down on his head with force. It’s a minor miracle that he didn’t have a more immediate reaction to the hit, though it’s certainly possible that he suffered a concussion.
Yet I’m sure he wasn’t really thinking about that. After the game, he was naturally asked about the incident, and if he’d ever seen anything like that. “Not in my years, but, I mean I thought it was pretty cowardly, kind of pretty bush league, which, you know, there’s plenty of tape out there to watch”, he said. “I haven’t seen a replay, but yes, I really haven’t seen anything like that, yeah”.
Neither have we, Mason. Neither have we. And hopefully we never see it again…and we shouldn’t see Garrett for a while, either. He did tell reporters that he feels “good to go”, indicating that he’s not experiencing any concussion symptoms, at least immediately after the game.
Asked for his view on what happened and how it developed that way, Rudolph said, “once again, I got sacked. Once again. I mean, you know, he had some words and kinda kept on keeping on. And one thing led to another. So, but you can watch a tape, go back and check it out and make your own assumptions”.
He added that he did not feel that it was a product of rising tensions throughout the game, something that I agree with. There were multiple hits to the head—on the part of Browns defenders to Steelers players—but it didn’t seem as though there was animosity. Garrett appeared to be acting of his own will to make some sort of statement.
Finally, Rudolph was asked if he felt that Garrett should be suspended. “I don’t know what the rules are”, he said. “I don’t know, but I know it was bush league and I know it’s just a total coward move on his part. You know, I get it. I mean, that’s okay though. You know, I’ll take it. I’m not gonna back down from any bully out there. So we’ll see what happens. I don’t know”.
“I know it’s bush league, and I know it’s a total coward move on his part.”
—Mason Rudolph on Myles Garrett pic.twitter.com/OwRQcKhEhm
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 15, 2019