For Gar­rett, wait be­gins on ap­peal

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS THURSDAY -

NFL

Myles Gar­rett looked com­posed and ca­sual, a stark con­trast to the last time he was seen in pub­lic.

Stylishly dressed in a bright blue suit and black turtle­neck, the Browns 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 the Browns makes them, for strik­ing 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 of­fices be­fore leav­ing with his rep­re­sen­ta­tives. He didn’t speak to the me­dia.

In the clos­ing sec­onds of the Browns’ 21-7 vic­tory over the ri­val Steel­ers on Thurs­day night, Gar­rett wres­tled Ru­dolph to the ground be­fore they scuf­fled. The Steel­ers QB 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 de­spite his at­tempt to grab Gar­rett’s hel­met or charg­ing at him.

On Wed­nes­day, Ru­dolph, who likely will be fined for his in­volve­ment, said he doesn’t be­grudge Gar­rett.

“I have no ill will to­ward Myles Gar­rett, great re­spect for his abil­ity as a player and I know if Myles could go back he would han­dle the sit­u­a­tion dif­fer­ently,” Ru­dolph told re­porters in Pitts­burgh af­ter read­ing a pre­pared state­ment. “As for my in­volve­ment last week, there is no ac­cept­able ex­cuse. The bot­tom line is I should have done a bet­ter job keep­ing my com­po­sure in that sit­u­a­tion.

“It falls short of what I be­lieve it means to be a Pitts­burgh Steeler and a mem­ber of the NFL.“

It’s un­clear when Thrash will rule on Gar­rett’s ap­peal. As part of his pun­ish­ment, the league said Gar­rett is re­quired to meet with Com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell’s of­fice be­fore he can be re­in­stated.

While Gar­rett awaits a rul­ing on his case, Thrash up­held the one-game sus­pen­sion for Browns de­fen­sive tackle Larry Ogun­jobi, who was dis­ci­plined for shov­ing a hel­met-less Ru­dolph to the ground dur­ing the melee.

Thrash did re­scind a $10,527 fine for Ogun­jobi, who will have to sit out this week’s game against the Dol­phins.

Cooks set to re­turn: Rams coach Sean Mc­Vay said Wed­nes­day that re­ceiver Brandin Cooks looks set to re­turn to the lineup Mon­day night against the Ravens.

Cooks has been in­ac­tive the last two games af­ter sus­tain­ing two con­cus­sions.

The sta­tus of re­ceiver Robert Woods was less clear. He was moved to the in­ac­tive list hours be­fore last week­end’s game be­cause of a per­sonal is­sue. Woods didn’t at­tend the game and wasn’t at prac­tice Wed­nes­day.

Le’Veon Bell is the league’s drug

Bell rips test­ing: throw­ing a flag on test­ing pol­icy.

The Jets run­ning back said Wed­nes­day he’s up­set he has been ran­domly se­lected five times this sea­son by the league to take tests for per­for­manceen­hanc­ing drugs.

“I done had 5 ‘ran­dom’ HGH blood test in 10 weeks,” Bell tweeted. “(at)NFL I’m not do­ing another af­ter today, what­ever y’all lookin for it ob­vi­ously ain’t there.”

Bell dou­bled down on his Twit­ter com­ment af­ter prac­tice, say­ing it’s “get­ting weird” and re­it­er­at­ing that he will not take ad­di­tional tests this sea­son — al­though he stopped short of say­ing the league is “tar­get­ing” him with the test­ing.

SETH WENIG/AP

Browns de­fen­sive end Myles Gar­rett leaves his ap­peals hear­ing Wed­nes­day.

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