The enduring image of Mason Rudolph was going to be him knocked cold during a game against the Baltimore Ravens with a scary concussion.
As it turned out, that moment made a truly frightening brawl on Thursday night seem even worse.
Rudolph had his helmet ripped off by Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, and then Garrett swung the helmet and hit Rudolph directly in the head. Rudolph said he was OK after the game, but it could have been a lot worse.
That moment will be replayed for a long time and it will always be a big part of Garrett’s football legacy. Like everyone else, Rudolph was shocked.
Mason Rudolph calls Myles Garrett ‘cowardly’
Football is intense, violent and often ugly. And everyone, even Garrett’s Browns teammates, seemed to understand that he crossed a line.
After the game, Rudolph said he was fine. He also called Garrett out for his actions.
“I thought it was pretty cowardly,” Rudolph said in a news conference after the game. “Pretty bush league. Which, there’s plenty of tape out there to watch. I haven’t seen a replay but, yes, I haven’t seen anything like that.”
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
Rudolph was asked if Garrett should be suspended.
“I don’t know what the rules are, but I know it was bush league, I know it was a total coward move on his part,” Rudolph said. “I get it. It’s OK. I’ll take it. I’m not going to back down from any bully out there. We’ll see what happens.”
Maurkice Pouncey wants Garrett suspended for year
After Garrett hit Rudolph in the head with the helmet, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey immediately went after Garrett. Pouncey punched Garrett and kicked him while he was on the ground in a fit of rage.
"I blacked out. I don't remember it really,” Pouncey said at his locker afterward, in an interview shown on NFL Network.
Pouncey said he thought Garrett should be suspended for the rest of the season.
"Absolutely. Absolutely. 100 percent. We'll see how serious the NFL is about its players,” Pouncey said.
Pouncey could face a suspension too, for punching and kicking Garrett. He was truthful when asked if he thought he’d get suspended.
"At this point, who cares? My man got hit in the head with a helmet,” Pouncey said. "I'll accept whatever penalty it is. I don't care. I was in protection mode."
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