Myles Garrett's violent response to Mason Rudolph during their incident on Thursday night was so extreme that it left some wondering whether Rudolph had said something to set off the Cleveland Browns defensive lineman.
ESPN reported Garrett made the accusation during his appeal hearing on Wednesday. His media session scheduled for Thursday was canceled.
After looking into the allegation, the National Football League deemed there was no evidence to substantiate Garrett's claim.
Rudolph denied saying anything to Garrett to provoke him when he read a prepared statement to reporters on Wednesday.
Browns coach Freddie Kitchens on Thursday declined to address his discussions with Garrett about the incident. Immediately after the report came out, Rudolph's attorney Tim Younger issued a statement calling the allegation "shameful" and a "desperate attempt to mitigate his suspension". ". I got to do a better job of keeping my composure in those situations". That's just not right. The guys who jumped into the scrum, I appreciate my team having my back, but it should have never gotten to that point.
The trouble began in the final seconds of Cleveland's 21-7 victory on November 14 when Rudolph flipped a short pass to running back Jaylen Samuels.
"There were mistakes made on both sides, but I don't ever think there was a racial slur, personally".
Rudolph said he was trying to get away from Garrett - who was not flagged on the play - when he briefly grabbed the back of the 6-foot-4, 272-pound Garrett's helmet.
The Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers are still throwing haymakers. Rudolph scrambled to his feet and gave chase.
Retail analyst Hitha Herzog discusses Cleveland Browns' Myles Garrett swinging a helmet at Pittsburgh Steelers' Mason Rudolph and how the sports world - and sponsors - are reacting. Center Maurkice Pouncey and DeCastro then took Garrett to the ground, with Pouncey punching him several times and kicking him in the head.
He will be able to play in the Browns and Steelers' second game of the season on December 1 in Pittsburgh. I'm just praying there's a resolution for him.
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