Here’s How Myles Garrett’s Assault Compares To The Biggest Ever On-Field NFL Suspensions

Myles Garrett helmet attack fight

Getty Image / Jason Miller

I turned last night’s Steelers-Browns game off at the half thinking the Browns would cruise to an easy win after Cleveland went into the half with a 14-0 lead. What I didn’t expect to happen when I turned off the TV was to wake up to news of arguably the dirtiest fight in NFL history.

If you haven’t seen it by now, Myles Garrett ripped off Mason Rudolph’s helmet and bashed him in the head with it which automatically triggered an all-out brawl between the two teams. Garrett really connected hard with the helmet and to think that Rudolph didn’t suffer some sort of injury from that is insane. At best he could have a contusion, at worst that could’ve easily knocked him out and caused brain trauma. We now know that Myles Garrett is suspended indefinitely this season (and postseason) and will now meet with the NFL Commissioner’s Office prior to being reinstated into the NFL.

Rudolph? No suspension. Both teams hit with $250,000 fines. Pouncey’s out 1 game as is Ogunjobi. With the indefinite suspension taking him out for the rest of the season + postseason, this is the largest suspension in NFL history for an on-field altercation.

Check it out:

NFL players are all weighing in on what happened. Baker Mayfield put him on blast. The Cleveland Browns inexpelicably allowed Myles Garrett to do post-game interviews after that attack. In those interviews, he didn’t think his violent attack overshadowed the Browns win! The Cleveland Police Department was reportedly seen exiting the locker rooms. The suspensions are out but it’s still unclear how long Garrett will be out of the league.

My original intent here was to compare the Myles Garrett attack to previous on-field altercations involving someone getting hit with a helmet but it turns out this has only happened on in the NFL, Antonio Smith swinging Richie Incognito’s helmet. Instead, I thought we could compare this fight to the biggest on-field suspensions in the NFL of all-time, meaning the suspensions stemming from events that happened on the field and not at home.

October 9, 1986: Los Angeles Raiders DE Greg Townsend was suspended 1 game for his role in a brawl with the Kansas City Chiefs. This was the first time an NFL player had been suspended for fighting on the field.

November 24, 1986: Green Bay Packers DE Charles Martin suspended 2 games for body-slamming Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon.

October 2, 2006: Tennessee Titans DT Albert Haynesworth suspended 5 games for stomping on Dallas Cowboys center Andre Gurode. This was a huge one compared to its predecessors. The jump from 2 games to 5 for an on-field incident shows how the league takes these things much more seriously in the modern era.

October 19, 2009: Carolina Panthers DT Dante Wesley suspended 1 game for launching himself into Tampa Bay Buccaneers punt returner Clifton Wesley. I remember watching this live and my jaw was agape at what I’d just witnessed.

November 29, 2011: Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh suspended 2 games for stomping on Green Bay Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith. This one felt like it was a suspension that was a long time coming because Suh was known as one of the dirtiest players in the NFL at the time.

November 29, 2011: Pittsburgh Steelers LB James Harrison suspended 1 game for a violent tackle on Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy.

September 25, 2012: Denver Broncos LB Joe Mays suspended 1 game for his illegal hit on Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub. Matt Schaub lost PART OF HIS DAMN EAR on this hit and it was only a 1-game suspension.

Now here’s a pretty relevant/important one to this case….

August 20, 2013: Houston Texans DE Antonio Smith suspended 1 game for removing and swinging Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito’s helmet. He was suspended *ONE GAME* for that incident that doesn’t even compare to the Myles Garrett assault in terms of how much he connected.

November 18, 2013: Indianapolis Colts LB Erik Walden suspended 1 game for headbutting Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker.

December 22, 2014: Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola suspended 1 game for stomping on the leg of Chicago Bears DT Ego Ferguson.

December 29, 2014: Detroit Lions DT Ndamukon Suh suspended 1 game for stomping on the leg of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers.

November 9, 2015: Denver Broncos CB Aqib Talib suspended 1 game for 0oking the eye of Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen. This one was so dirty!

January 11, 2016: Vontaze Burfict suspended 3 games for ‘repeated violations’ of safety-related playing rules.

November 27, 2017: Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree suspended 2 games but later reduced to 1 for a fight + unsportsmanlike conduct.

November 26, 2018: Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette suspended 1 game for a fight with Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson.

And there we have it.

Myles Garrett’s indefinite suspension hinges on his eventual meeting with the NFL Commissioner’s Office prior to being reinstated. He’ll be gone for this entire season (and postseason). Beyond that, we don’t know for sure if he’ll ever play another down in the NFL.