Myles Garrett ended the season of backup quarterback Trevor Siemian with two late hits in September, so it’s no surprise the Jets weren’t exactly defending him Friday over his helmet-wielding assault of Pittsburgh’s Mason Rudolph.
Garrett was suspended indefinitely — and at least for the remainder of this season — for the dangerous melee at the end of the Browns’ victory Thursday night over the Steelers.
“That was crazy. Obviously I don’t know exactly what happened, what was said in the pile between Myles and Mason. But he obviously took it too far,” said Le’Veon Bell, who played for the Steelers from 2013-17 before sitting out last season in a contract dispute. “That’s what kind of started the whole, whatever that was, battle, like a war. But yeah that was crazy. That was absolutely crazy.
“I never seen it like that…So I knew that was gonna happen right away, that he was done for the year.”
There even exists the possibility of criminal charges levied against Garrett; as Rudolph’s agent Tim Younger told ESPN that “no options have been removed from the table.” At least one Jet would not dismiss such a scenario being warranted.
“That’s such a slippery slope, but that’s a possibility,” offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum said. “Whether he’s gonna be charged with assault or not, I think that’s got to be a question. It’s gonna be a message, no matter how you look at it. We can’t have that in our game.”
The NFL acted quickly in banning Garrett, who previously had been fined more than $40,000 for two roughing-the-passer penalties on Siemian (ankle) in the Jets’ 23-3 loss to Cleveland in Week 2.
Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey (three games) and Cleveland’s Larry Ogunjobi (one) also were suspended for their roles in Thursday’s brawl, while each organization was fined $250,000.
“It’s like it’s not even the fact Myles hit somebody with his helmet. He was like reaching over people to do it. That’s just too far. Entirely too far,” Bell said. “Unprofessional, for real. Obviously I knew the league was gonna do its job and have to suspend him.
“I know Myles, he’s a good person, and a good player obviously. I don’t know what was said or what could’ve happened for him to react like that. Myles is not even that type of person. For him to react like that, it kind of blew my mind. But I knew once it happened, the suspension would come.”
Others inside the Jets’ practice facility were not as expansive on the incident. Defensive lineman Steve McClendon said Garrett’s actions were “definitely wrong,” but stressed, “I’m not really gonna speak on that because we need to focus on the task we have at hand this week.”
Added head coach Adam Gase: “I saw it, but it’s hard for me to comment. It’s something that you don’t want to see happen.”
Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams coached Garrett the previous two seasons in Cleveland, but he declined comment on the incident other than calling the defensive end “a great young man and a great player.” He also said that he loves Garrett’s parents.
“I’m here with the Jets and I’ve gotta work on the Jets and get ready for Coach (Bill) Callahan,” Williams said referring to Sunday’s game against the Redskins.
Sam Darnold probably would be glad to hear that Beachum fully supported Pouncey for immediately going after Garrett to protect his endangered quarterback.
“I would’ve done the same thing, no doubt, without question,” Beachum said. “I grew up in a culture that you saw (Thursday) night, where you protect your quarterback. I would’ve done the same thing.”
For more on the Jets, listen to the latest episode of the “Gang’s All Here” podcast: