Browns DE Myles Garrett reinstated by NFL

The indefinite suspension lasted six games at the end of the 2019 season

Daryl Ruiter
February 12, 2020 - 10:40 am

Cleveland, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) - Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was reinstated Wednesday by the NFL.

Garrett met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Monday in New York to plead his case for reinstatement. The meeting was a condition of Garrett's original punishment that included an indefinite ban without pay that spanned – at minimum – the remaining six games of the 2019 season.

With the ban lifted, Garrett is free to participate in team activities going forward. 

“We welcome Myles back to our organization with open arms,” Browns executive vice president of football operations and general manager Andrew Berry said. “We know he is grateful to be reinstated, eager to put the past behind him and continue to evolve and grow as a leader.  We look forward to having his strong positive presence back as a teammate, player and person in our community.”

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield tweeted: “welcome back big fella!!!”   

Garrett was suspended indefinitely for hitting Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with his own helmet in the closing seconds of a 21-7 victory last year on November 14th at FirstEnergy Stadium.

After Garrett tried to sack Rudolph, Rudolph objected to what he felt was a late hit by attempting to remove Garrett’s helmet as the two grappled on the ground. Garrett then pulled Rudolph up by his facemask, tearing off the Steelers’ quarterback’s helmet. The two were separated momentary when Rudolph charged at Garrett, who responded by swinging the helmet, striking Rudolph on the top of his head.

During his appeal with the league office, Garrett alleged that Rudolph used a racial slur prompting his reaction. The appeal was denied and the suspension along with the additional fine of $45,623 for the incident were upheld by hearing officer James Thrash.

The six-game suspension, which was the longest ever handed down to a player for an on-field incident, cost Garrett an additional $1.14 million in pay. 

Steelers guard Maurkice Pouncey was suspended for three games before it was reduced to two following an appeal for punching and kicking Garrett, and Browns defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi was suspended one game. Ogunjobi's appeal was also denied. 

A total of 33 players, including Garrett, were fined for the melee that ensued after Garrett struck Rudolph. The Browns and Steelers franchises were hit with a $250,000 fine by Goodell. In all, over $732,000 in fines were handed down.