For Garrett, wait begins on appeal
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.
Browns defensive end Myles Garrett leaves his appeals hearing Wednesday.