The NFL is reinstating suspended Cleveland Browns pass rusher Myles Garrett. Garrett was suspended for the final six games of the regular season and would have been suspended for the NFL Playoffs had the Browns made it there. The former No. 1 overall selection met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Monday to discuss the counseling that Garrett was mandated to undergo as well as the future course of action. Goodell was obviously satisfied with what he heard that day.
During a Nov. 14 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Garrett removed the helmet of quarterback Mason Rudolph and swung it at his head just making contact. The incident occurred in the waning moments of the game and initiated an all-out brawl between the two teams. The league disciplined 33 players and levied over $700,000 in fines. Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was suspended for one game, while Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was suspended for two games following an appeal.
Browns executive vice president of football operations and general manager Andrew Berry acknowledged that the team will welcome Garrett back to the locker room.
"We welcome Myles back to our organization with open arms. 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," Berry said, via a team press release.
Garrett issued an apology to Rudolph in the days following that game.
"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. I want to apologize to Mason Rudolph, my teammates, our entire organization, our fans and to the NFL. I know I have to be accountable for what happened, learn from my mistake and I fully intend to do so."
Goodell was asked about the matter in the days leading up to Super Bowl LIV.
"It's just not Myles Garrett here. Obviously he was the starting [point] but we suspended three different players in that. 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," Goodell said via Cleveland.com.
"It was in my view and I think our football people, something that had to be dealt with very quickly and very firmly to make it clear to the players that is not acceptable. And I'd add one other thing: and to the clubs. Because we also fined the clubs, both clubs, for having been the clubs that participated in this. Not that they were necessarily responsible for it, but they're accountable for it and that's the message we want them to understand."
Prior to his suspension, the Texas A&M product was having his best season-to-date. He recorded 29 tackles, ten sacks and two forced fumbles in ten games. The one-time Pro Bowl selection had the NFL's best pass-rush grade at the time of his suspension, according to Pro Football Focus.
ESPN's Adam Schefter noted that Garrett serves as the captain of the NFL's Waterboys program, which works to bring clean water to portions of Africa. The Texas native is scheduled to leave for Tanzania next week.
Stay tuned as this is a developing story.