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Browns, Steelers brawl at end of Cleveland’s 21-7 win

Posted: 12:10 AM, Nov 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-19 13:17:57-05
APTOPIX Steelers Browns Football
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns kept fighting long after the outcome had been decided, and it likely will cost them their best defensive player.

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ripped off Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet and hit him with it in the head in the final seconds as the Browns’ 21-7 win over the Steelers on Thursday night ended with a wild brawl between the rivals.

Garrett faces a likely suspension for his actions, and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey will likely be disciplined for kicking Garrett in the head.

Players from both sidelines spilled on the field during the melee, which began after Garrett wrestled Rudolph to the ground well after he completed a short pass on a meaningless play. Garrett, Pouncey and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi were ejected.

Rudolph got his hand on Garrett’s helmet first as the players grappled on the ground, but Garrett escalated the brawl after he got back on his feet. He yanked the helmet off Rudolph and swung wildly, hitting the quarterback on the top of the head. Rudolph threw his arms in the air in disbelief after the impact, and Pouncey retaliated by punching and kicking Garrett.

“The reality is he’s going to get suspended, we don’t know how long, and that’s going to hurt our team,” Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said immediately after the game.

Fox commentator Troy Aikman called Garrett’s actions “barbaric.”

Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was shown replays of the brawl on the NFL Network set.

“It’s ugly,” Beckham said. “It’s not something we want in the NFL.”

Rudolph, a second-year player who took over for the injured Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2, has already missed time this season with a concussion after he was knocked unconscious from a helmet-to-helmet hit by Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas.

“Myles is very upset about it. He’s got to maintain his composure,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said.

Garrett responded to the incident after the game, saying both his actions and the Steelers' actions were "foolish," but took full responsibility for his role in the brawl.

"I shouldn't have allowed myself to slip like that. It's out of character," Garrett said.

NOT TO BE OVERSHADOWED

Before the ugly ending, Mayfield threw two touchdown passes and scored on a 1-yard plunge as Cleveland held on to defeat the banged-up Steelers for just the fourth time in 10 years and improved to 2-0 in the AFC North for the first time.

The Browns (4-6) have won two in a row after dropping four straight, a skid that put first-year coach Freddie Kitchens’ job in jeopardy.

But Mayfield’s 8-yard TD pass to undrafted rookie tight end Stephen Carlson with 5:25 left helped clinch a rare win over the rival Steelers. And softer upcoming schedule has eased the pressure on Kitchens and given the Browns some hope they can end the NFL’s longest playoff drought.

The loss was especially damaging to the Steelers (5-5).

Pittsburgh lost its top two playmakers as running back James Conner (shoulder) and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) suffered injuries in the second quarter and didn’t return.

Without them, Rudolph didn’t have enough help and threw four interceptions.

In the third quarter, Steelers rookie wide receiver Diontae Johnson got concussed from a vicious hit by Browns safety Damarious Randall, who was ejected.

Browns running back Nick Chubb had 92 yards and went over 1,000 this season.

Despite the injuries, the Steelers were within 14-7 entering the fourth quarter after Rudolph connected with Jaylen Samuels for a 3-yard touchdown pass.

The score was set up by Cleveland’s secondary, which was called for three penalties — one of them Randall’s ugly hit — totaling 58 yards on the scoring drive.

But the Browns were able to put it away late after linebacker Joe Schobert intercepted Rudolph for the second time and returned it to Pittsburgh’s 9.

On third down, Mayfield, who hasn’t thrown an interception in three games, bought time in the pocket and delivered a strike to Carlson, who jumped and reached around Steelers linebacker Mark Barron to haul in the TD pass — his first NFL reception.

Th Browns have been wrapped up in drama all season, and that was the case again Thursday as the team released wide receiver Antonio Callaway just hours before kickoff.

Callaway, who served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy earlier this season, was benched by Kitchens for arriving late to Sunday’s game against Buffalo.

KAEPERNICK WORKOUT

The Browns are one of 11 teams committed to attending former quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s workout in Atlanta this weekend.

Owner Dee Haslam said didn’t know who from the team would be at the workout to evaluate Kaepernick, who hasn’t played since 2016 and became a polarizing figure when he kneeled during the national anthem to protest social and racial injustice.

“We are in support of anybody getting an opportunity to play football,” Haslam said. “We love that.”

INJURIES

Steelers: Along with the others, Pittsburgh lost LB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi (concussion) and CB Artie Burns (knee).

Browns: Safety Morgan Burnett sustained an Achilles injury in the first half and didn’t return.

UP NEXT

Steelers: Visit winless Cincinnati on Nov. 24.

Browns: Host Miami on Nov. 24.

BROWNS 2020 OPPONENTS

Home

  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Oakland Raiders
  • Washington Redskins
  • Houston Texans
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Pittsburgh Steelers

Away

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • New York Giants
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • New York Jets
  • Tennessee Titans
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Pittsburgh Steelers

BROWNS 2019 SEASON RESULTS

Preseason

WEEK 1 · Thu 08/08 · Browns 30, Redskins 10 (1-0)

WEEK 2 · Sat 08/17 · Browns 21, Colts 18 (2-0)

WEEK 3 · Fri 08/23 · Buccaneers 13, Browns 12 (2-1)

WEEK 4 · Thu 08/29 · Browns 20, Lions 16 (3-1)

Regular Season

WEEK 1 · Sun 09/08 · Titans 43, Browns 13 (0-1)

WEEK 2 · Mon 09/16 · Browns 23, Jets 3 (1-1)

WEEK 3 · Sun 09/22 · Rams 20, Browns 13 (1-2)

WEEK 4 · Sun 09/29 · Browns 40, Ravens 25 (2-2)

WEEK 5 · Mon 10/07 · 49ers 31, Browns 3 (2-3)

WEEK 6 · Sun 10/13 · Seahawks 32, Browns 28 (2-4)

WEEK 7 Bye

WEEK 8 · Sun 10/27 · Patriots 27, Browns 13 (2-5)

WEEK 9 · Sun 11/03 · Broncos 24, Browns 19 (2-6)

WEEK 10 · Sun 11/10 · Browns 19, Bills 16 (3-6)

WEEK 11 · Thu 11/14 · Browns 21, Steelers 7 (4-6)

WEEK 12 · Sun 11/24 · Browns 41, Dolphins 24 (5-6)

WEEK 13 · Sun 12/01 · Steelers 20, Browns 13 (5-7)

WEEK 14 · Sun 12/08 · Browns 27, Bengals 19 (6-7)

WEEK 15 · Sun 12/15 · Cardinals 38, Browns 24 (6-8)

WEEK 16 · Sun 12/22 · Ravens 31, Browns 15 (6-9)

WEEK 17 · Sun 12/29 · Bengals 33, Browns 23 (6-10)