Steelers’ Mason Rudolph explains what caused the Myles Garrett fight vs. Browns
Mason Rudolph of the Pittsburgh Steelers is lucky he didn’t sustain a severe injury at the hands of Myles Garrett. Rudolph spoke out after the Steelers lost to Garrett and the Cleveland Browns Thursday night, in a game which was overshadowed by an ugly brawl and Garrett’s complete loss of control.
Garrett’s use of a swinging helmet as a weapon — hitting Rudolph on the head — is the one image everyone will take from this game.
.@MylesLGarrett – There are consequences for your actions, young man. I hope you learn from this and understand that you did more harm to the game, than good.
The league will hand out a punishment and you need to accept it.
— WALTER JONES (@BigWalt71) November 15, 2019
Rudolph, had he been hit more squarely, or in a way which drew blood, might not have been in sufficient condition to speak after this game. It is worth noting that Rudolph received a ferocious hit from Earl Thomas of the Baltimore Ravens earlier this year.
That play was part of the on-field violence of football, but this incident crossed the line between competition and assault.
Here is what Mason Rudolph had to say:
Q: When did it escalate?
Mason Rudolph smiles and tells reporters, “Maybe when he took my helmet off and used it as a weapon.”
— Kimberley A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) November 15, 2019
Those words are chilling. A helmet is a protective object, but as we know well, the helmet can be an instrument of harm. This happens when players lead with their helmet in an attempt to tackle. As vicious as some helmet-to-helmet hits can be, those hits are nevertheless part of the culture of football, in which defensive players try to separate a receiver or ballcarrier from the ball.
This act by Myles Garrett of the Browns had no such component. The fact that the Browns had already secured the win — this moment occurred at the very end of a 21-7 game won by Cleveland — reinforced how far removed this was from an attempt to help a team win a game. Garrett simply snapped at a level rarely seen anywhere and anytime in NFL history.
Mason Rudolph is fortunate that he isn’t severely concussed. It will be interesting to see if Rudolph’s avoidance of a significant injury affects the punishment the NFL will soon levy against Myles Garrett.