Does Myles Garrett deserve to get suspended? Absolutely. With 4 weeks left of regular season, it’s likely that Garrett won’t play football for the remainder of the season.

However, the nasty fight between Browns’s star defensive end and Steelers’ quarterback that happened with less than 15 seconds to play during the Cleveland Browns & Pittsburgh Steelers game on Thursday Night Football became one of the most polarizing talking points in American sports history.

Almost every player involved in the incident got rightfully suspended by the NFL within less than 24 hours after the game except Mason Rudolph, the instigator of the fight. The big question is why?

Garrett’s season-ending suspension is fair after he used Rudolph’s helmet as a weapon per USA Today & struck the quarterback on the head with it. With the helmet hit, Garrett could’ve cracked Rudolph’s skull, but thankfully the worse didn’t happen.

Steelers’ Maurkice Pouncey received a three-game suspension for kicking Garrett on the head after the Brown’s player was already on the ground. Garrett’s teammate Larry Ogunjobi got a game suspension for pushing Rudolph to the turf. Both suspensions are fair & warranted.

What about Mason Rudolph though? Why is the NFL not holding the Steelers’ quarterback accountable for instigating the fight in the first place? No player or a person for that matter deserves to get hit on the head with an NFL helmet, including Rudolph. However, the Steelers quarterback should be disciplined for not only starting the fight but making it even worse.

Replays show Rudolph briefly tried to grab Garrett in the head and neck area and even attempted to remove the defensive ends’ helmet & kicked Garrett in the groin after the Browns’ player had already sacked him. Garrett ripped off Rudolph’s helmet in retaliation before the worst part of the incident happened. Rudolph’s decision to charge towards Garrett without his own helmet even though Steelers’ teammate, David DeCastro, had already restrained Garrett was very irresponsible on his part.

When Rudolph was asked what sparked the incident during the post-game conference, he said:

“I got sacked, we exchanged some words, he kept keeping on and one thing led to another. You can go back and watch the tape if you want and make your own assumptions.”

Rudolph’s answer is as smug as it gets. It’s almost as if he knew nothing would happen to him after the incident because the majority including the NFL viewed him as the victim rather than an instigator.

Rudolph then added:

“I felt like I had a bone to pick with him after what he did, I wasn’t going to back down. I appreciate the offensive line always having my back and putting it to bed, but I was angry. I’m human.”

Another way one could interpret that statement is that Rudolph (23/44, 221 yds, 1 TD, 4 INT) was so frustrated with his own performance on the night. Rudolph threw a total of 4 interceptions and the moment he got sacked for the 4th time, he snapped and decided to take out his frustration on Garrett, who despite taking the quarterback to the ground via a sack, made sure he hit the turf first, allowing Rudolph to land on him.

The fact that Rudolph admitted that he felt he needed to do something & charged Garrett with ill-advised intentions in mind per Jarrett Bell despite DeCastro restraining Garrett is concerning. What would Rudolph have done had he successfully ripped Garrett’s helmet off?

Rudolph also called Garrett “coward” and deemed the Browns’ star actions as “bush league.”, while openly admitting that he had “a bone to pick”, in other words…. “fight” Garrett.

Rudolph’s teammate DeCastro, who tried defuse the situation & had it under control until Garrett swung the helmet after Rudolph rushed towards him, stated that he wasn’t sure what started the incident.

DeCastro said:

“Things got chippy at the end, He laid on him too long and Mason approached him. Who knows? You know what I mean? It was back and forth and all of a sudden, Mason’s helmet is off and getting swung at his head. I mean, that’s just reckless.”

The NFL got all their suspensions correct but one. The NFL had a chance to not only hold Mason Rudolph accountable for not only starting the fight but also escalating it, but they didn’t. In no shape or form am I defending Myles Garrett, as his suspension is the right one. After all, Garrett did assault a fellow player on the field of play.

Yet in a case of where one player attempted & failed to rip off the other’s helmet while the other succeeded, the NFL rightfully suspended the retaliator for his dangerous retaliation but not the instigator, who not only started the fight but irresponsibly charged, rushed the player he wanted to “fight”, without a helmet. The NFL fumbled big time regarding Rudolph’s role in this entire incident and failed to make an example of him too.

Watch the video on the next page.

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Freelancer writer

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