According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Josina Anderson, Browns DE Myles Garrett alleged at his appeal hearing that Steelers QB Mason Rudolph directed a racial slur at him before last Thursday night’s brawl. The two were tangled up on the second-to-last play of the game and Garrett alleges that Rudolph’s comments were part of the reason the fight escalated to involve Garrett swinging Rudolph’s own helmet at the quarterback’s head.
“Mason vehemently denies the report of being accused of using a racial slur during the incident Thursday night in Cleveland,” Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said in a statement. “He will not discuss this accusation any further and his focus remains on preparation for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.”
Rudolph said in a prepared statement on Wednesday that he did not say anything to Garrett to escalate the situation. He’s expected to be fined for his role in going after Garrett that helped escalate the brawl, but his agent released a statement calling the allegations “wild and unfounded.”
“According to ESPN, in his appeal, Myles Garrett falsely asserted that Mason Rudolph uttered a racial slur toward him, prior to swinging a helmet at Mason’s uncovered head, in a desperate attempt to mitigate his suspension. This is a lie. This false allegation was never asserted by Garrett in the aftermath of the game, never suggested prior to the hearing, and conspicuously absent in the apology published by the Browns and adopted by Garrett. The malicious use of this wild and unfounded allegation is an assault on Mason’s integrity which is far worse than the physical assault witnessed on Thursday. This is reckless and shameful. We will have no further comment.”
- A source added that Garrett told the Browns he would assert some sensitive information at his appeal of a season-long suspension.
- NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said the NFL “found no such evidence” that a racial slur was directed at Garrett by Rudolph. (Adam Schefter)
- Mark Maske reports that Garrett’s side raised the racial slur accusation in an unusual way during Wednesday’s appeal hearing, as they referenced the alleged racial slur but made no request for it to be considered in his defense.
- Garrett posted a statement, via his Twitter account, saying: “I know what I heard.”
- Browns GM John Dorsey issued a statement supporting Garrett: “As we’ve consistently stated, our organizational support for Myles will continue. He is a man of high character and unquestionable integrity. He was open and honest with us about the incident from the start. He has taken accountability for his actions on Thursday night and this situation will not define him. As an organization, our focus going forward remains on the task-at-hand, which is preparing for the Miami Dolphins.“
Bills QB Josh Allen says he thought there was a chance he would be drafted by the Broncos back in 2018.
“I did think that there was a chance that I could end up there. Obviously, it would have been close to Laramie, kind of close to the West Coast where I lived,” said Allen, via Mike Klis.
Allen mentioned that his personal friends from college were hoping that he’d end up with Denver.
“It’s something that my buddies from college really wanted to happen because they were living there obviously in Denver and it would be easy for them. I definitely think I ended up where I was supposed to be and where I needed to be,” via Klis.
Raiders HC Jon Gruden would not comment on the specifics of S Karl Joseph‘s surgery to repair a foot injury but expects him to make a full recovery.
“I’m not going to get specific because I can’t be accurate but we’re happy that he’s going to be well. We miss him and we give him our very best. He’s a hard guy to replace,” said Gruden, via Jerry McDonald.
As for Lamarcus Joyner‘s hamstring injury, Gruden said he put in a limited practice on Wednesday and will continue to be evaluated in the coming days.
“He got in some work,” Gruden said, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports. “… We weren’t doing much today, as you could see, in terms of full-speed work. We got a lot of reps today. I’m hopeful that he’ll be ready to play, but we’ll see how it goes when we lather them up [Thursday].”