Steelers: Assessing the Fallout From Thursday Night Football Disaster

The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football but the game was overshadowed by chaos between a few players.

For nearly all of Week 11’s Thursday Night Football matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, things were relatively civil. In a division rivalry game like this, it is often expected that there will be higher emotions and possibly even some small outbursts and skirmishes. This week, however, things went several steps too far. On a meaningless play near the end of the game, Browns defensive lineman Myles Garrett brought down Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph to the ground on an aggressive, but technically legal hit.

After the play though, things quickly unraveled into chaos. After some jawing from Rudolph, a fight ensued, and during the dust-up, Garrett hit Rudolph over the head with Rudolph’s own helmet. It was a senseless act and one that has no place in football. It’s also an action that has since led to some major consequences for both sides involved.

Garrett, for his barbaric act, has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL and will miss at least the rest of the season. Considering his actions on Thursday, that punishment is well-justified. As one of the most talented defensive players in the league, Garrett’s absence will almost certainly hurt Cleveland’s defense, but don’t expect anyone to feel too bad for the former No. 1 overall pick. What he did was horrible, and the lengthy suspension is ultimately what his actions warranted. Outside of Garrett, Cleveland will also be without defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi for their next game which further depletes their defensive line.

As for the Steelers, center Maurkice Pouncey will miss the next three games for his reaction to Garrett’s antics. After seeing Rudolph getting hit, Pouncey almost immediately took Garrett to the ground and proceeded to kick and punch him. His absence will hurt Pittsburgh’s offensive line but it won’t have nearly the same impact as Garrett’s absence will have on the Browns.

What is clear is that this incident was uncalled for and senseless. Garrett’s actions have no place in football. The scoreboard may show a Browns win, but after that game, it seems more like both teams lost.