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NFL reinstates Myles Garrett from indefinite suspension

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has been reinstated from his indefinite suspension, the National Football League announced Wednesday. Garrett was suspended for his role in a brawl between the Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers last season.

Garrett had to sit out the final six games of the 2019 season and would have been ineligible for the playoffs had the Browns qualified.

"We welcome Myles back to our organization with open arms," Browns General Manager Andrew Berry said. "We know he is grateful to be reinstated, eager to put the past behind him and continue to evolve and grow as a leader. We look forward to having his strong positive presence back as a teammate, player and person in our community."  

In the closing seconds of the November 14 game between the Steelers and the Browns, Garrett and Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph began fighting. Garrett tackled Rudolph following a short pass and both players started grabbing at each other's helmets. Garrett managed to remove Rudolph's helmet and then forcefully slammed it down on the quarterback's head.

Multiple players from both teams joined in on the fight. Garrett was suspended indefinitely the next day. Rudolph avoided suspension, but was fined $50,000 by the league. In all, 33 players were fined, with 29 of them forfeiting $3,507 for "entering the fight area." Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was suspended for two games and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi received a one-game suspension for participating in the brawl.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
Defensive end Myles Garrett #95 of the Cleveland Browns hits Quarterback Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers over the head with his helmet during the second half in the game at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 14, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. Jason Miller / Getty Images

"It's probably, I would say, the most significant discipline we've had from any single incident in our history, although we don't keep that stat, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told prior to this year's Super Bowl.

Garrett apologized the following day, saying in a statement, "Last night, I made a terrible mistake. I lost my cool and what I did was selfish and unacceptable. I know that we are all responsible for our actions and I can only prove my true character through my actions moving forward."

Garrett appealed his suspension, claiming during a hearing that he lost his temper after Rudolph called him a racial slur. The NFL upheld the suspension, saying they found no evidence to support that claim.

Garrett said it was never his intention for that information to become public, but following the decision to uphold the suspension, he reiterated his claim.

"This was not meant for public dissemination, nor was it a convenient attempt to justify my actions or restore my image in the eyes of those I disappointed," Garrett tweeted November 21. 

"I know what I heard," he added.

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