Mason Rudolph and Myles Garrett exchanged words after the Browns clinched a playoff berth and a playoff rematch next week against the Steelers with a 24-22 win.
Rudolph and Garrett were involved in a physical altercation near the end of Cleveland's 2019 victory over Pittsburgh. During the altercation, Garrett hit Rudolph with his own helmet, which led to Garrett being fined more than $45,000 and being suspended for the final six games of the season. Garrett later said that Rudolph -- who was fined $50,000 for his role in the altercation -- hit Rudolph after Rudolph called him a racial slur, a claim that Rudolph has vehemently decided.
It appears, based on Rudolph's postgame tweet, that the two players have made amends.
"Onward and upward," Rudolph wrote via Twitter after the game along with posting a photo of himself with Garrett after the game.
Onward And Upward. pic.twitter.com/a4RE6qVbqT— Mason Rudolph (@Rudolph2Mason) January 3, 2021
"Myles came over and said 'Good game' in the postgame," Rudolph told reporters. "That's all it was. I told him 'Good luck,' and have a lot of respect for him."
Both players had previously expressed a desire to make up following last year's altercation. Garrett told Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot in September that he would like to sit down with Rudolph in order to "move forward, and just being better men and football players and not letting something like that happen again." Rudolph was asked if he would be open to making that conversation happen.
"Happy to hear Myles out," Rudolph said, via ESPN's Brooke Pryor. "If he wants to approach me, wants to talk."
Garrett, who said that he openly contemplated retiring during his suspension, ultimately decided to continue his career, in part because he did not want the last image on him on a football field to be him swinging a helmet at Rudolph.
"I just don't want any grudges," Garrett said in September. "I don't have any grudge against [Rudolph]. I don't have any ill intent against him. It's not like I'd have anything against him if I saw him in public or if I saw him in a game and we were suited up. I'd just play him like I play anybody else. if I saw him in public, I'd just fist-bump and walk away just like if I saw anybody else on the street that I didn't know personally. I don't have a problem with that. Other than that night, before that play and after that play, I don't think we spoke two words to each other.
"And now our fates are intertwined forever, and so I don't think we should leave it off like that, is my opinion. I feel like we should clear the air so there's no problems and there's no bad blood. Between our teams and our fans, the rivalry I feel like will live off of it, but between the players, I feel like it should always be competitive but never go over the line."
While he did not sack Rudolph on Sunday, Garrett did record four tackles while helping Cleveland clinch its first playoff berth since 2002. Rudolph played well in defeat, throwing for 315 yards and two touchdowns in his first and only start of the 2020 season.