Tomlin opened his weekly news conference by addressing the issue head on.
“It was ugly,” said Tomlin, who had refused to take any questions about the incident directly after the game, per Brooke Pryor of ESPN. “It was ugly for the game of football. I think all of us that are involved in the game, particularly at this level, want to safeguard and protect the game, its integrity. And in that instance, it was compromised, obviously, with an unfortunate incident.
“None of us want those incidents to transpire. It did. We were a part of it. We accept responsibility for our actions within it.”
Tomlin would not elaborate beyond his opening remarks, as players involved in the brawl, including Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, are in the process of appealing their suspensions. Pouncey received a three-game suspension for his role in what played out late in the Browns 21-7 victory.
Garrett, meanwhile, has since been suspended indefinitely by the NFL, a punishment that at a minimum will include the rest of the season as well as any potential playoff games the Browns may play.
Rudolph, meanwhile, has not yet received any punishment, and some have argued the Steelers quarterback provoked Garrett with his own actions during the melee.
That said, the NFL is expected to issue fines for players who were not suspended, and it is expected Rudolph will be among them.
The dust continues to settle in the wake of arguably one of the ugliest on-field incidents in NFL history, which involved in Garrett ripping off Rudolph’s helmet and hitting the Steelers quarterback in the head with it in front of a national audience on “Thursday Night Football.”
The fallout from the incident undoubtedly will continue to be among the biggest topics of conversation in the league in the coming weeks, especially with a rematch looming between the Steelers and Browns on Dec. 1.
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