PITTSBURGH — Whether he did it on purpose or not, Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens sent a message on Friday when he was spotted wearing a t-shirt that read "Pittsburgh started it."
On Sunday, several members of the Pittsburgh Steelers used their own apparel to send a message of their own.
Arriving at Heinz Field for their rematch with the Browns, Steelers could be spotted wearing black hooded sweatshirts with "Free Pouncey" written in white lettering. The sweatshirts are an obvious reference to Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey, who is serving the second game of a 2-game suspension on Sunday for his involvement in the brawl between the Browns and Steelers that occurred in the closing seconds of Cleveland's 21-7 victory at FirstEnergy Stadium on Nov. 14.
After Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ripped off Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph's helmet and hit him in the head with it, Pouncey tackled him to the ground and proceeded to kick and punch at the former No. 1 pick. Initially suspended for three games, Pouncey successfully appealed his punishment down to two games, while Garrett remained indefinitely suspended (through at least the remainder of the 2019 season and playoffs) and Cleveland defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was suspended one game for shoving Rudolph to the ground.
After missing the Browns' victory over the Miami Dolphins last week, Ogunjobi will make his return to the field on Sunday in what could prove to be a pivotal game in the AFC Wild Card Race.