It didn’t take lengthy for the NFL to behave on the ugly incident that occurred on the finish of the Browns’ 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday night time.
It was a giant win for the Browns, coupled with an excellent greater loss. Having gained their final two video games, placing themselves again into the dialog for a postseason berth, the Browns must pursue that berth with out their greatest defensive participant.
Defensive finish Myles Garrett has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL. At minimal, Garrett will sit out the remainder of the common season, and any potential playoff video games, for ripping the helmet off the pinnacle of Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph, and hitting Rudolph within the head with the helmet.
The NFL additionally suspended Browns defensive deal with Larry Ogunjobi for one sport and Steelers middle Maurkice Pouncey for 3 video games as a part of the wild brawl between the 2 groups with eight seconds left in Thursday’s sport. The league additionally fined each groups $250,000 within the wake of one of many wildest melees in NFL historical past.
Friday, the Browns went into full harm management, with formal apologies issued by Garrett and house owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam. Coach Freddie Kitchens, spoke to reporters on Friday, after assembly with Garrett within the morning.
“He understands the magnitude of what occurred last night. He is very remorseful,” stated Kitchens. “He understands that he let himself down, he let his teammates down and he let his organization down. We look at our team as a family, and in a family, sometimes family members make mistakes. You support them in every way that you can, even if it is an egregious mistake.”
In his assertion on Friday, Garrett stated, “Last night I made a terrible mistake. 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. I know I have to be accountable for what happened, learn from my mistake and I fully intend to do so.”
Garrett’s habits in Thursday’s sport is the newest, and definitely probably the most dramatic and unlucky instance but of the shortage of self-discipline by Browns gamers, which has been an issue all season. Cleveland has led, or been close to the highest of the league in variety of penalties, and yards penalized all yr.
In line with ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Browns’ 87 penalties this season is their most via 10 video games since 1978. Their 4 participant ejections, three of them Thursday night time, are probably the most within the NFL this yr.
In Thursday’s sport the Browns have been penalized eight occasions for 121 yards. They’ve been penalized extra occasions (87) and for extra yards (822) than any crew within the NFL, however Kitchens maintains that his crew’s lack of self-discipline has not been an ongoing drawback.
“I do not know that it has been a struggle all year that we maintain our composure,” Kitchens stated. “Sometimes I think it is a commitment to doing the right thing, if you are referring to some of the penalties. We are going to continue to stress those things, and over the last three to four weeks those things have gotten better, and we are going to continue to try to get even better than that. (Thursday night) was an outlier of what we have had. We have not seen anything like that.”
No one has.
The place to the Browns go from right here?
Nicely, to Miami, the place they’ll play the 2-7 Dolphins on Nov. 24. After that it’s to Pittsburgh on Dec. 1, for a rematch with the Steelers. Misplaced within the game-ending avenue battle on Thursday night time – “It almost feels like we lost,” stated Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield following the sport – is that the Browns at the moment are 4-6, and sitting on the fringes of postseason competition.
Cleveland hasn’t reached the postseason since 2002. In the event that they get there this yr will probably be with out Garrett, the No.1 total decide within the 2017 Draft, a Professional Bowl choice final yr, and the very best participant, and the chief of the protection this yr.
“It’s hard, but I think we have the men in the room to accept the challenge,” stated Kitchens, of life with out Garrett. “There has been adversity hit, it seems, like all year. So these guys have answered the call of adversity, and I expect them to do the same moving forward. There will not be any excuses. We will have 11 out on the field, and those 11 will be expected to do their job.”