The whole situation got worse Thursday when it was revealed that Garrett claimed in his appeal that Rudolph used a racial slur toward him before the fight.
Rudolph's attorney also put out a statement denying the accusation made by Garrett. The league suspended Smith for two preseason games and one regular-season game for swinging his helmet at then-Dolphins guard Richie Incognito.
The Steelers released a statement, as well.
Rudolph told reporters on Wednesday he didn't say anything to provoke Garrett or escalate the situation.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Preview
In the last five games, the Bucs are allowing 29.3 fantasy points to opposing QBs with no evidence to that changing anytime soon. The offense also got back on track in this game as well after a lackluster week last week against the Atlanta Falcons.
Pittsburgh defensive lineman Cam Heyward said Rudolph approached him as practice ended on Thursday when both players saw the report on a television while walking past the team's weight room. You have to think Baker Mayfield and others on the Cleveland side would have had a much different take on the altercation if Rudolph said something racist. Replays of the melee, however, showed that Rudolph tugged at the Cleveland Browns star's helmet first.
Garrett was suspended by the National Football League last Friday for ripping the helmet off Rudolph in the closing moments of the Browns' 21-7 victory over the Steelers in Cleveland.
Garrett made the allegation as part of his initial comments during the appeal hearing in NY, sources said.
The league did reduce the suspension for Steelers OL Maurkice Pouncey from three games to two upon his appeal. Ogunjobi's suspension was upheld, but his fine was rescinded. The guys who jumped into the scrum, I appreciate my team having my back, but it should have never gotten to that point.
Rudolph's teammates were largely quiet about the incident on Thursday, learning about it just before they took the field Thursday for part of their preparations to play the Bengals Sunday in Cincinnati. I'm just praying there's a resolution for him. I'm going to do what's best for him.