The agent for Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph has not ruled out involving the legal process against Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett after the melee that ensued toward the end of Thursday night's game at Cleveland.
Garrett came away with Rudolph's helmet during a skirmish following a short pass by the quarterback. In a scrum that included Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro, Garrett proceeded to swing the headgear and hit Rudolph in the head.
Garrett was ejected in the closing moments of the game and the NFL suspended him without pay indefinitely on Friday, per a statement from Michael Signora, the NFL's senior vice president of football and internal communications.
Barring a successful appeal, Garrett will miss at least the rest of the regular season and any potential postseason games. Cleveland defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi (one game) and Pittsburgh offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey (three games) were also suspended and the teams were fined $250,000 apiece. The three players also received undisclosed fines.
Rudolph's agent did not rule out filing criminal charges, according to multiple reports.
"I am gathering all information and no options have been removed from the table," agent Tim Younger said via text, according to ESPN.
Younger first took to Twitter late Thursday night to let his feelings be known about the incident.
"There are many risks an NFL QB assumes every snap taken on the field," Younger wrote. "Being hit on your uncovered head by a helmet being swung by a 275-pound DE is not one of them. Tonight could have had a catastrophic ending. The matter will be reviewed thoroughly."
Rudolph called the incident both "cowardly" and "bush league." Garrett expressed regret for his actions.
"What I did was foolish, and I shouldn't allow myself to slip like that," Garrett said after Thursday's game. "That's out of character, but a situation like that where it's an emotional game, and I allowed myself to fall into those emotions with what happened."
The most serious punishment for an on-field incident in NFL history prior to Garrett's (minimum six games) was a five-game suspension in 2006 for the Tennessee Titans' Albert Haynesworth after he stomped on the head of the Dallas Cowboys' Andre Gurode and caused lacerations that required 30 stitches. Gurode did not press criminal charges or file a criminal lawsuit.
--Field Level Media