The NFL is still sorting out the aftermath from the melee that served as the finale to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ most recent game, a loss to the Cleveland Browns that has put their season once again in serious jeopardy. While the league has handed down three suspensions, more discipline is expected.
According to ESPN, the league is anticipating handing out fines for roughly 10 players between both squads for the roles that they played in the sequence at the end of the game, which was initiated by Myles Garrett’s unnecessary takedown of quarterback Mason Rudolph and ended with his being kicked on the ground by Maurkice Pouncey. In between those two landmarks, of course, he smashed Rudolph in the head with his own helmet.
While the expectation is that the suspensions are taken care of—at least in terms of who will be suspended—a number of players will be receiving fines, including many for leaving the bench area in order to enter the field of play.
It has previously been reported that Rudolph is expected to be fined, stemming from the fact that he grabbed and pulled at Garrett’s facemask after he was illegally brought to the ground on a third-and-29 play with 14 seconds remaining in a two-score game.
More relevant, the league is suspected to hear the appeals of each of the three suspensions that they handed out, and will do so by Wednesday. Garrett was suspended indefinitely, while Larry Ogunjobi was handed a one-game suspension. Pouncey is currently anticipated to serve a three-game suspension.
Also according to ESPN, one source from the league told the outlet that “he would not be surprised if at least one of the three suspensions announced Friday [the day after the game] is reduced or overturned”, though surely Garrett’s cannot be the betting favorite.
I think that both Pouncey and Ogunjobi have a reasonable chance of receiving some leeway. Ogunjobi was suspended one game for shoving Rudolph behind his back after the incident. He could have it reversed and instead only receive a fine.
Steelers fans are, of course, hoping that Pouncey’s suspension will be reduced to at least two games, if not down to only one, but I would consider at least the latter very unlikely. Both Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell have had suspensions reduced in the past, though those were fore off-field issues.