Browns’ Myles Garrett attends appeal hearing for NFL suspension
CLEVELAND — Myles Garrett looked composed and casual, a stark contrast to the last time he was seen in public.
Dressed in a bright blue suit and black turtleneck, the Cleveland Browns star defensive end met Wednesday with an appeals officer in New York in hopes of getting a reduction to an indefinite NFL suspension that has temporarily ended Garrett’s season and tarnished his career.
Garrett was banned last week for the rest of the regular season and playoffs, if Cleveland makes them, for striking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with a helmet. Garrett appealed, and his case was heard by league-appointed officer James Thrash, a former NFL player, who will either lessen the penalty or put a definitive number of games on it.
The former No. 1 overall draft pick spent roughly two hours in the league’s Manhattan offices before leaving with his representatives. He did not speak to the media.
In the closing seconds of the Browns’ 21-7 victory over the Steelers on Thursday night, Garrett wrestled Rudolph to the ground before they scuffled. Rudolph unsuccessfully tried to rip off Garrett’s helmet before the two got to their feet.
That’s when Garrett yanked off Rudolph’s helmet, swinging it and connecting with the top of the QB’s head. Rudolph avoided injury and was not suspended.
Thrash is expected to make his decision later this week. As part of his punishment, the league said Garrett is required to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell’s office before he can be reinstated.
Earlier this week, Goodell and Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks heard appeals of Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi’s one-game suspension and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey’s three-game ban.
Ogunjobi shoved a helmet-less Rudolph to the ground during the melee, and Pouncey punched and kicked Garrett as he lay on the ground.
Neither ruling has been made.
Browns coach Freddie Kitchens would not divulge who from the team accompanied Garrett to his hearing.
“Myles has great representation,” Kitchens said. “More importantly, Myles will represent himself well. We’re going to continue to support him and Larry and we will not waver with that support.”
As Garrett pleaded his case, the Browns are trying to regroup amid the possibility they’ll be without their best defensive player for a significant period. Cleveland is still in the playoff race hunt going into Sunday’s game against Miami.
Kitchens hopes the experience will serve as a reminder for his team to stay collected.
“We talk all the time about being the smartest, toughest football team and sometimes one of those things don’t happen and you decrease your chances of winning and you decrease your chances of being successful and we want to add both of those to the mix, not one without the other,” he said. “So you have to be both. That’s a continual conversation topic and will always be discussed.”