Whenever an NFL player steps onto the field, they do so knowing there’s a chance they might not end up walking off of it thanks to the inherently brutal nature of a sport that attracts fans thanks in no small part to the crushing blows that inspired the “Jacked Up!” segment that used to be featured on Monday Night Football broadcasts before the NFL admitted CTE was a thing.
The league has made strides in recent years to emphasize player safety with a special focus on preventing hits to the head, but last season, Mason Rudolph experienced a fairly untraditional blow to the cranium courtesy of Myles Garrett, who ripped off the quarterback’s helmet and swung it at him during an altercation in the closing seconds of a matchup between the Steelers and the Browns.
Garrett’s move sparked a massive melee that ended with him getting stomped on by Rudolph’s teammates, and when the dust finally settled, the NFL hit three players with suspensions—including the defensive end, who was handed an indefinite ban for his ill-advised decision.
Things got even messier after Garrett accused Rudolph of hurling a racial slur at him (an accusation he failed to mention to his teammates following the fracas), and after the Steelers QB denied the alleged exchange of words, the NFL looked into things and channeled its inner Maury Povich by determining Garrett’s claim was a lie based on the evidence at hand.
Earlier this week, Garrett sat down with the league to discuss his reinstatement, and while it was initially unclear what its timetable was concerning a decision, it appears it’s decided he’s served his time according to a report from Adam Schefter.
Shortly after the news broke, Garrett celebrated his return with a little bit of help from John Wick.
The Brown has a long history of questionable behavior on the field over the course of his career, so while I’m sure he promised the NFL he’s a changed man, only time will tell if that is indeed that case.