CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns got good news on Wednesday when the National Football League reinstated star defensive end Myles Garrett from his indefinite suspension, which brought to a premature end his 2019 season.
Garrett was banned for the final six games of the 2019 season for a helmet-swinging incident involving Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the waning seconds of a 21-7 Browns win at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland in front of a national television audience on Thursday Night Football last November.
“We welcome Myles back to our organization with open arms,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said in a release announcing Garrett’s reinstatement.
“We know he is grateful to be reinstated, eager to put the past behind him and continue to evolve and grow as a leader. We look forward to having his strong positive presence back as a teammate, player and person in our community.”
Like the Browns, there were plenty of fans who took to social media to welcome back Garrett.
In the three seasons since Cleveland made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Garrett has registered 30.5 sacks with 104 total tackles, 74 solo stops, 30 assists, six forced fumbles, 32 tackles for lost yards and 65 quarterback hits.
Garrett has two double-digit sack years to his credit (13.5 in 2018 and 10.0 in 2019) and was a Pro Bowler following the 2018 season.
While many fans welcomed back Garrett with open arms, others took the time to mock the Steelers, especially quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Rudolph.
Not long enough
Other NFL fans believed Garrett’s ban did not last long enough and cited the fact that other players have generated far longer suspensions for incidents that did not involve the swinging of and striking an opponent with a helmet.
The incident boiled over into a brawl when Garrett brought Rudolph to the ground well after a third-down play with eight seconds remaining in the game.
Following the hit, Rudolph appeared to rip off Garrett’s helmet after delivering a couple of kicks below the belt of the Pro Bowl defensive end. Garrett responded by ripping off Rudolph’s helmet with several powerful tugs, and later, swinging it at and connecting to the quarterback’s head when the signal-caller pursued the matter further.
When Garrett ended up on the ground after getting tangled up with Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro, center Maurkice Pouncey tried to defend his quarterback and delivered several kicks to the helmet and multiple punches to the Browns’ edge rusher.
It was then that Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi escalated further the already volatile situation by pushing Rudolph from behind and to the ground, at which time, players left both benches and a scrum ensued in the end zone that took several minutes to get under control.