Commentators were aghast, with Fox head announcer Joe Buck describing the incident as 'one of the worst things I've ever seen on a professional sports field'.
Prior to Garrett's suspension, the stiffest ban for a single on-the-field act came in 2006 when former Tennessee Titan Albert Haynesworth was suspended five games after he stomped on the face of a helmetless Dallas Cowboys player.
Browns defensive end Garrett ripped Steelers quarterback Rudolph's helmet off and swung it at him, striking his head before a mass brawl ensued.
The NFL also suspended Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey for three games for fighting: he punched and kicked Garrett in the aftermath of the helmet hit. He shoved Rudolph to the ground from behind during the melee. A date for his possible reinstatement and return won't be set until he meets with the commissioner's office.
In addition to the suspension, both the Browns and Steelers organizations have been fined $250,000. Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro pushed Garrett away from Rudolph, but the Steelers quarterback continued to pursue the 6-foot-4, 272-pound defender.
"He understands the magnitude of what occurred last night, and he's very remorseful, he's very sorry for his actions", Kitchens said.
"I lost my cool and I regret it", Garrett said. He held on to the quarteback's hemlet as Rudolph went to try and get it back.
Thursday night's fight could be seen as a capper to what has been an unusually aggressive campaign from Garrett, who was not shy about his Defensive Player of the Year aspirations going into the season but has let such desires bubble over into detrimental extracurricular activity.
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Seconds later another Browns' player, defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, rushed up to Rudolph and hit him from behind knocking him to the ground a second time.
Rudolph grabbed at Garrett's helmet.
Rudolph threw his arms in the air in disbelief after the impact, and Pouncey retaliated by punching and kicking Garrett.
"We also have to train our coaches, too, when something like that happens to keep our guys back and keep them on the sidelines, so that it doesn't turn into something much bigger than what it really is", Major said. I felt like I had a bone to pick with him.
Before seeing the replay, Rudolph called Garrett's actions "pretty cowardly" and "Bush League", adding that the pair "had words" and Garrett "kept on keeping on" before tensions peaked.
Rensch says that just because you are on a football field, laws are not suspended, but courts don't generally get involved. It's inexcusable and he knows that.
Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens clearly feels that the National Football League is letting Rudolph slide. "It feels like we lost", Mayfield said.