UPDATE 11/15/19:

CLEVELAND (AP) — Myles Garrett is done playing for the Cleveland Browns this season. The NFL isn’t saying when the star defensive end will play again.

Garrett was suspended for at least the rest of the regular season and postseason by the league Friday, hours after he shockingly used a helmet “as a weapon” by striking Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head.

Garrett’s violent outburst in the final seconds of Thursday’s nationally televised game against the Steelers landed him the longest suspension for a single on-field infraction in league history. Tennessee’s Albert Haynesworth was suspended five games in 2006.

The league’s No. 1 overall pick in 2017 was also fined an undisclosed amount and Garrett must meet with Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office before his reinstatement is considered.

After wrestling Rudolph to the ground as the Browns were closing out a rare win over their rivals, Garrett ripped off the quarterback’s helmet and clobbered him on top of the head, triggering a benches-clearing brawl that capped another physical game between the AFC North teams.

“I made a terrible mistake,” Garrett said in a statement Friday. “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.”

Rudolph, who suffered a concussion earlier this season, avoided serious injury and said after the game the defensive star’s attack was “cowardly and bush league.” That sentiment was shared across the league and sports world.

The league said Garrett “violated unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules, as well as fighting and removing an opponent’s helmet and using it as a weapon.”

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, who was doing all he could to separate Garrett and Rudolph, was suspended three games without pay and also fined for punching and kicking Garrett. Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was suspended for one game. He shoved Rudolph to the ground from behind during the melee.

The suspended players have three business days to appeal their penalties.

The Steelers and Browns were also fined $250,000 each.

“There is no place for that in football and that is not reflective of the core values we strive for as an organization,” Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a statement. “We sincerely apologize to Mason Rudolph and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Myles Garrett has been a good teammate and member of our organization and community for the last three years but his actions last night were completely unacceptable. We understand the consequences from the league for his actions.”

Added Steelers President Art Rooney II: “We must always maintain composure, no matter what happens. After a hard-fought game between two rivals, it is a shame the game ended that way.”

Rudolph’s agent, Tim Younger, said he’ll explore legal action against Garrett. Cleveland police say no police report or charges have been filed.

“There are many risks an NFL QB assumes with every snap taken on the field. Being hit on your uncovered head by a helmet being swung by a 275 lb DE is not one of them,” Younger said on Twitter. “Tonight could have had a catastrophic ending. The matter will be reviewed thoroughly.”

Garrett’s disturbing actions will cost the Browns (4-6), who have moved back into the playoff race but must now play the rest of this season without their best defensive player.

There were two other nasty hits in the 135th game between Pittsburgh and Cleveland with Browns free safety Damarious Randall delivering a helmet-to-helmet shot on Steelers rookie receiver Diontae Johnson, who left with a concussion. Randall was ejected for the hit in the third quarter.

The Browns and Steelers play again in Pittsburgh on Dec. 1.

Although Garrett has been called for late hits on quarterback this season, this sort of attack was seemingly out of character for someone who is a self-proclaimed pacifist and poet. Last month, he didn’t retaliate after a fan wanting a photograph punched him in the face while stopped in traffic downtown.

The loss of Garrett is a devastating blow to Cleveland’s defense. He’s one of the league’s best rushers and the Browns are already missing end Olivier Vernon, who missed his second game Thursday with a knee injury.

The Browns have been one of the league’s most penalized under first-year coach Freddie Kitchens. The Garrett episode came just a few hours after the team released troubled wide receiver Antonio Callaway, who was suspended Friday by the league for another violation of the substance abuse policy.

Further, the team recently released safety Jermaine Whitehead after he posted threatening messages on Twitter following a loss. And the Browns were criticized for signing running back Kareem Hunt, who was suspended for the first eight games this season for two physical off-field altercations when he was with Kansas City.

“That is not who we want to be at the end of the game,” Kitchens said about Garrett. “That is not who Myles wants to be. That is not who we are going to be. You have to be able to maintain your composure in times like that and under no circumstances do we want anything to do with anything like that. I am embarrassed. Myles is embarrassed. It is not good. He understands what he did, he understands it is totally unacceptable, and we have to get through it.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

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

And maybe their season.

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.

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“I lost my cool and I regret it,” Garrett said. “It’s going to come back to hurt our team. The guys who jumped into the scrum, I appreciate my team having my back, but it never should have gotten to that point. It’s on me.”

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.

“I thought it was pretty cowardly and bush league,” Rudolph said. “I’m not going to back down from any bully. I felt like I had a bone to pick with him. I appreciate the line always having my back, but I was angry.”

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield called Garrett’s actions “inexcusable” and Fox commentator Troy Aikman said they were “barbaric.”

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Mayfield said the incident overshadowed a win that the Browns should be celebrating.

“It feels like we lost,” he said.

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.

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 bought time and connected with Carlson in the back of the end zone — his first NFL reception.

The 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.

WATT’S UP

Steelers LB T.J. Watt took down Mayfield in the third quarter, giving him eight sacks in five career contests against the Browns. Watt has at least one-half sack in seven straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL.

UP NEXT

Steelers: Visit winless Cincinnati on Nov. 24.

Browns: Host Miami on Nov. 24.

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