PITTSBURGH — There will only be a little more than 5,000 fans in attendance at Heinz Field on Sunday for the Steelers' game against the Browns because of COVID-19 restrictions. But the expectation is that they’ll sound like a crowd of 65,000 raining boos down on Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett if and when his named is mentioned by the public address announcer during the game.
Garrett is the latest villain in this rivalry for the Browns after touching off a brawl in a 21-7 win in Cleveland against the Steelers last year when he bludgeoned Mason Rudolph over the head with his own helmet which he had ripped off the head of the Steelers backup quarterback.
That touched off a brawl that resulted in 33 players being disciplined by the NFL with fines nearing $750,000.
Garrett claimed several days later that Rudolph had used a racial slur against him, triggering the reaction, an accusation he repeated later after he was reinstated by the NFL following an indefinite suspension for the incident that sidelined him for the final six games of the 2019 season.
It also was an accusation Rudolph and several Steelers who were in the area adamantly denied. As our Ramon Foster wrote earlier this week, “I know Mason Rudolph didn’t say what Garrett accused him of saying. I’ll just leave it at that.”
Garrett has six sacks, 10 quarterback hits and has forced a league-high three fumbles in the Browns' first five games. He’s garnering attention for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. But unlike T.J. Watt, who finished third in the defensive player of the year voting last season and is a candidate again this year, Garrett is largely a one-man show.
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