Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett tried to clear his name with the NFL this morning, sitting down with the league to state an appeal of his indefinite suspension for hitting Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with his own helmet last Thursday night.
Garrett and his representatives have claimed that an indefinite suspension is completely unprecedented, citing former Houston Texans defensive Antonio Smith only being docked three games for a nearly identical offense a few years ago.
Source says Myles Garrett appeal argument is precedent-based. Antonio Smith got 2 preseason gms + 1 reg season gm for swinging helmet at Incognito in '13. Ergo, even six games (remainder of this season) is too long, they argue. And of course, indefinite suspension unacceptable.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) November 20, 2019
The video shows that Smith did indeed pull Richie Incognito’s helmet off and use it as a weapon, but Garrett actually made contact with Rudolph on his swing. The ensuing brawl — and the fact it was a primetime game between division rivals — could also feed into what made this a longer suspension for Garrett.
For reference, the longest ever suspension for one on-field act was given to Albert Haynesworth for stomping on the head of then-Cowboys center Andre Gurode. The Titans standout was given five games.
Garrett is likely doing to be disappointed if he thinks that he’ll play again this season, especially considering he actually connected with Rudolph’s head, but his indefinite suspension is almost assuredly going to be capped at six, with the player likely to be reinstated in time for the start of the 2020 season.