Browns, Steelers NFL clash ends in brawl

Tomk Withers
Cleveland's Myles Garrett faces suspension after striking Pittsburg quarterback Mason Rudolph

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 ended with a wild brawl between the rivals.

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

"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."

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.