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Garrett, Ogunjobi, Pouncey Suspended

Several players have been suspended following the brawl between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns in the closing seconds of Thursday Night Football. 

The most significant penalty has been levied against Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, who has been suspended indefinitely, but at a minimum will miss the rest of the regular season and postseason. Garrett not only pulled the helmet off Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, but came back at Rudolph, swinging the helmet as a weapon. 

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was suspended three games without pay while Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was suspended one game without pay. Both players were also fined. They are expected to appeal their suspensions. 

Finally, the league will also fine Rudolph for his role in the brawl.

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40 comments, Last at 27 Nov 2019, 6:11pm

1 I posted this in the…

I posted this in the discussion thread but I'll ask it here... What is the appropriate punishment for this? Professional dirtbag Albert haynesworth got only five games for stomping his cleats into a helmetless player's head


Also from a football point of view this is probably pretty devastating to the browns. They probably weren't making the playoffs anyway, but osing Myles Garrett is enormous. 

3 That was before the NFL had…

That was before the NFL had a CTE-related PR crisis.


Removing a guy's helmet and bludgeoning him with it is the worst possible look that didn't result in severe injuries.

4 Minimum penalty

should be remainder of this season and all next. This is not even hard to decide.


Not just for the singular act.  But everything around it from the late hit, to scuffling with Rudolph, etc. And then his other history. 


And let's not overlook the fact that Rudolph could have easily have falled to the ground with a serious head injury or possibly died. 

9 If you're referring to the…

In reply to by big10freak

If you're referring to the hit that came during the actual play, it wasn't late, nor was it dirty. Garrett leads with his shoulder through Rudolph's chest right as Rudolph releases the swing pass. No flag came in until Garrett pulled Rudolph's helmet off, and there was an official standing right there. As far as his history, I just looked it up and he had two roughing the passer penalties back in September, plus one in each of the last two seasons. I wouldn't say that's a particularly egregious history for a pass-rusher.

EDIT: Here's a screencap as close as I could get to Garrett's initial contact with Rudolph https://imgur.com/M4RxjTl

11 As a Jets fan, I remember…

As a Jets fan, I remember the two late hits in the September prime time game being egregious.  That said, Garrett's history of cheap shots only extends to this year, and with Freddie Kitchens as head coach.  I don't remember him having a ton of late hits last year, when the infamous Gregg Williams was his coordinator and later on, head coach.  I would prefer to see him play next year, simply because he is one of the most talented players in the game, but I also want him to start playing under control and not display the garbage that was the end of this game.

22 The Browns are probably…

The Browns are probably hoping they can appeal down to 4 games, which would bring #95 back for the home Baltimore game.

That would probably be an absolute best-case; the @ARIZ game, 3 games in, will be tough, but no way does the suspension get reduced to Pouncey's current level.

They have enough games left in which they should be overwhelming favorites without Myles - 2 CIN games, and MIA at home - that they're not completely out of it, but the other 3 games @ARIZ, @PIT & Baltimore at home would've been difficult either way.

I'm not sure how an appeal would go; really the only thing Myles has in his favor besides "he started it" [with there being rumors of Rudolph using slurs] is that he "only" hit him with the padding, and Rudolph was able to get back in the next play.

5 Mostly seems reasonable…

Mostly seems reasonable. Ogunjobi maybe got too harsh a penalty and the fine to the Browns seem a bit light, I would have liked a fine to Kitchens so that the coaches responsibility to coach players to behave appropriately is emphasized.

6 Football is a violent game

It is supposed to be controlled violence though. So the circumstances here are unacceptable. Garrett should not be allowed to play the game. One of two conditions would seem to exist here. He deliberately, with malice, set out to injure another player or he lost control in the heat of the moment. If he is truly evil that would be unfortunate but I would assume the second condition is more likely. But it raises the question “does it matter”? The answer, for me at least, is no. Given his physical “gifts” and the nature of the game further opportunities for this are inevitable.

As to the culpability of the Browns in this matter while their talent is undeniable their discipline has been nonexistent on either a team or individual level. Rather akin to the NCAA finding of lack of institutional control.
(reposted from week 11 open game discussion)

8 I bet the NFL is glad

The focus after this game is on the player who went way too far in a fight, while comparatively few people are going to remember the guy who left the game bleeding from the ears with a concussion from a football play.

Plus, the hot takes surrounding this are going to drown out the sham workout that they've set up for Kaepernick this weekend.

12 Just watched the highlights…

Just watched the highlights which didn't include the fight at the end (saw that earlier). Not the greatest game; the Tank bowl between the Jets and Giants last week was much more entertaining, and only the Browns defense could argue they played better than those terrible teams, and even then they had 3 helmet to helmet hits, at least one late hit and the absolute embarrassment of the ending. Aside from how undisciplined the Browns are, my takeaway is that Thursday Night Football needs to go away.

20 Not too different from the…

Not too different from the last Steelers game really, except that the Steelers had Rudolph throw an inordinate number of times (If you toss out the last kneeldown, they called 40 passes to 9 runs after the first quarter, including 7/9 pass plays with 3 or fewer yard to go). Still, it did get more exciting towards the end of the game waiting to see how many more interceptions Rudolph would throw. If only he'd aired it out on the last drive, he could've gotten one more interception, a third(!) tackle and avoided the entire incident.

27 How about the fact that the…

How about the fact that the play is dead and he wasn't in the scrum at that point so shoving him serves no purpose. Second, he has no helmet and has his back turned to you...what the hell are you accomplishing other than committing a cheap shot. Third, he said he did it to defend Myles. Um...you have one opposing monster of man pinning him down and another monster of a man throwing punches and kicks and you go after the helmetless quarterback to stick up for your teammate? 

Not only do I find that reprehensible, its a pretty pathetic showing of teammate support. 

15 Brutal Game and fight

It was a brutal game with a lot of dirty hits around there. I generally agree with the suspensions here - but I think that Mason Rudolph should have gotten a game for starting it with trying to take off Garrett's Helmet. I mean I get it - Garrett pushed you into the turf a bit late and you've been hit around all day - but you can't go trying to take off the other players helmet.

18 Yeah, I was thinking the…

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. The entire situation was caused by Rudolph. He started the altercation by trying to rip off Garrett's helmet. Then he tried to attack Garrett after the two had been separated. Quarterbacks need to be held accountable too.

I would also like to see a suspension for the helmet-to-helmet hit that lead to the ear bleeding. That was a much more dangerous play than what Garrett did.

24 "That was a much more…

"That was a much more dangerous play than what Garrett did. "


I think getting hit on the bare head with a helmet is more dangerous than getting hit on the helmeted heat with a helmet.

26 This isn't even up for…

This isn't even up for debate. Not trying to sound hyperbolic, but a football helmet swung with maximum intensity against a person's head could result in death. Hard to get much worse than that.

19 Rudolph deserves a fine for…

Rudolph deserves a fine for instigating with Garrett after the tackle, but there was nothing there that put Garrett in danger, and nothing even close to being worthy of a suspension.

Afterwards, if Rudolph tried to attack Garrett, I completely missed that.  What I saw was Rudolph screaming at Garrett, something players do during altercations all the time when emotions get hot.  Again, nothing suspendable.

I agree with the comment about the fight lowering the media coverage of the Steelers WR (Williams?) bleeding from he ear after the egregious defenseless player hit.  That was the second concussed Steeler WR of the game, after Smith-Schuster was also ko'd by an illegal head shot (that sort of went unpenalized, but there was another illegal head hit on Rudolph on the same play that was called … there were so many Browns shots to the head that game, the refs couldn't even flag them all).  That story line would have been ugly for the league, too.  Probably uglier, as the fight story line will get swept away as being mostly the act of one bad apple after play is halted, rather than being about the tougher issue of protecting players during play.

39 "Afterwards, if Rudolph…

"Afterwards, if Rudolph tried to attack Garrett, I completely missed that."


Rudolph ran 15 yards across the field to take a swing at Garret, who was being restrained by two Steelers. Garret, while Rudolph was swinging at him, swung the helmet at Rudolph. Taking a swing at a guy who is being restrained by two other guys is absolufuckinglutely putting someone in danger. 


Garret should absolutely be suspended long term, but Rudolph should have gotten several games. Running accross the field to take a swing at a guy who has been pulled away from the scrum should absolutely be a suspension. 

25 Penalties

Said this in the other thread, but I'll say it again.

I don't think the NFL came down hard enough on this. They need to make it clear that these kinds of things are not tolerated.

Garrett deserves a hefty suspension, and probably criminal charges as well. Swinging a blunt object down onto someone's unprotected head with all your force, especially when you are a large and physically strong person, is how you kill someone. Garrett essentially committed attempted murder.

Pouncey probably should have gotten four or five games. If Haynesworth got five games for stomping on a head, and Kareem Hunt got eight games for shoving and kind of kicking someone during an altercation, then I would think repeatedly punching someone in the head and then kicking them in the head while a teammate held them down should warrant at least four or five, even if that someone just committed attempted murder.

Rudolph should have gotten a 1-game suspension. Grabbing an opponent by the head and trying to pull off their helmet during a scuffle is worthy of an ejection and a fine, at least, as it unsportsmanlike and is endangering them. But then, after teammates have separated you, running back in and shoving the other player and, it looks on replay like, actually throwing a punch... AFTER you assaulted their head... that warrants a 1-game suspension in my mind. If Rudolph had just walked away after the initial tussle, this wouldn't be an issue.

Ogunjobi got 1 game for blind-siding a defenseless player from behind during a scuffle. Maybe a little harsh, but understandable given the circumstances. But what Rudolph did was certainly worse.

29 I think we need to slow down…

In reply to by MJK

I think we need to slow down a little with "attempted murder" and the like. It was ugly, reckless, stupid, unacceptable. But Rudolph wasn't actually hurt, nor (I believe we can say with near certainty) was the act pre-meditated or calculated. As far as I'm aware Garrett doesn't have any significant previous, so sitting him down for the rest of the season, along with fines, seems appropriate punishment to me. 

Unlike others, I'm struggling to react with outrage and horror to this incident. You've got young men, relentlessly trained and coached to physically dominate (and often likely, dare I say, whilst "chemically enhanced"), playing an already extremely violent sport. So occasionally the wholesome facade the NFL tries to put up comes collapsing down, and we see fighting and brawling. Unpleasant, but hardly surprising.


31 Agree

Have to agree with this - what Garret did was obviously ridiculous, but a one year ban and associate fines seems like a pretty hard message that will serve as an appropriate deterrent. It's worth noting that in American justice the consequences of your actions matter more than there possible consequences - and in point of fact Rudolf was uninjured. I think Rudolf should get at least a game as well - rule of thumb, anytime you try to remove a mans helmet you shouldn't play the next game, regardless of provocation.

Most importantly I think the Refs who were there last night should be done for the season - and the NFL should seriously look at dropping them altogether. In a game like that with a series of escalating, possibly premeditated, dirty hits the first responsibility of a Ref is to get control of the game for the safety of all those involved - the ref's failed miserably to do that, things got out of hand and some players got hurt (and all those involved are fortunate it wasn't much worse ala Steve Moore/Todd Bertuzzi).

32 I agree completely on the…

In reply to by sbond101

I agree completely on the refs. Clete Blakeman is notorious for letting games get out of control. He doesn't want to throw flags. I appreciate that, but not when there is head hunting going on. He should be suspended for the rest of the year, at least. Watch the Garrett assault again and see all the stuff that happens before Clete finally gets around to throwing his flag.

40 "Attempted murder" is the…

In reply to by MJK

"Attempted murder" is the most ridiculous of takes. 

If you told me that two guys restrained Garret, while their buddy tried to punch him in the face, and he happened to grab something and clubbed the guy over the head and killed him, my response would be "justifyable homicide - self defense". 

Yes, hitting someone with a helmet is bad fucking news. Holding a guy back while your buddy hits him is also really fucking bad news - and really dangerous. Professional athletes punching each other is really fucking bad news, and it doesn't take much to permanently disable someone. 

Suspend everyone. Fire the officials - the fact that it got to this point is the real problem - and Clete has  history of letting games get like this. 

30 Garret's suspension

Assuming Garret's suspension continues into next season, I'd like to see the Steelers-Browns games early in the year, before the suspension ends.

But TV ratings might mandate otherwise.

37 https://www.cbssports.com…


Also, apparently Roger will have his decision on appeals coming Wednesday.

Myles arguing that the NFLPA does not permit "indefinite" suspensions for on-field conduct.

38 I kind of agree that it…

I kind of agree that it places too much faith in the NFL, already notorious for screwing up even the simplest tasks. However a ten year ban with a right to appeal it once a year or so to a Board of players might be reasonable. Especially if Mason Rudolph is on the board.