Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett will appeal his indefinite suspension at a hearing on Wednesday, days after he attacked Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with his helmet during an on-field altercation.
Garrett, 23, will plead his case at the hearing, ESPN reported. James Thrash, an appeals officer jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association, will preside over the hearing.
The NFL suspended Garrett without pay for at least the remainder of the 2019 season after his confrontation with Rudolph in the closing seconds of the Browns’ victory over the Steelers on “Thursday Night Football.” If the suspension is upheld, Garrett will forfeit more than $1 million in salary and pay an undisclosed amount in fines.
"There's no excuse for that to happen on a football field," Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters on Monday. "I know that. Myles knows that. All the players in the locker room know that. That's it. There's no excuse. But, in saying that, we're going to support Myles Garrett going forward in any way that he needs support."
Garrett’s challenge of the penalty will include a claim that the NFL’s collective-bargaining agreement does not allow for indefinite suspensions over on-field incidents, NFL Network reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.
The current suspension is the longest for an on-field action in NFL history and could extend into the 2020 season. To be reinstated, Garrett would have to receive approval from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Garrett was one of three players to receive a suspension for their actions in the brawl last Thursday. The NFL also fined the Browns and Steelers $250,000 each.
“Last night, I made a terrible mistake,” Garrett said in a statement. “I lost my cool and what I did was selfish and unacceptable. I know that we are all responsible for our actions and I can only prove my true character through my actions moving forward. I want to apologize to Mason Rudolph, my teammates, our entire organization, our fans and to the NFL.