Myles Garrett won't be returning to the field in 2019. And his future beyond that also remains uncertain.
On Thursday, NFL appeals officer James Thrash announced he has upheld Garrett's indefinite suspension, which stemmed from his role in the fight between the Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers last Thursday night. At a minimum, he will remain suspended through the remainder of the 2019 season and playoffs.
Garrett’s punishment came as the result of the brawl between the Browns and Steelers in the closing seconds of Cleveland’s 21-7 victory last Thursday night. After tackling Mason Rudolph to the ground following a quick pass to running back Jaylen Samuels, Garrett became entangled with the Pittsburgh quarterback, who proceeded to tug at his helmet.
From there, Garrett proceeded to rip Rudolph’s own helmet off before being separated by Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro. But after Rudolph charged at the former No. 1 pick, Garrett hit him in the head with his own helmet before being tackled to the ground by Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey, who punched and kicked him.
Shortly before the ruling on his appeal was announced, ESPN's Adam Schefter and Josina Anderson reported that Garrett alleged that Rudolph provoked him by using a racial slur prior to the fight.
Garrett, Pouncey and Larry Ogunjobi were each ejected from the game, with Pouncey receiving a 3-game suspension and Ogunjobi receiving a 1-game suspension for shoving Rudolph to the ground. Ogunjobi’s appeal – which was also heard by Thrash – was denied on Wednesday afternoon, while Pouncey had his suspension reduced to two games following an appeal to appeals officer Derrick Brooks.
Earlier on Wednesday, Garrett stated his case to Thrash during an in-person appeal in New York City. According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Garrett’s argument was one based on precedent, with Houston Texans defensive lineman Antonio Smith only receiving a three-game suspension for hitting Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito in the head with his helmet during a preseason game in 2013. At the very least, Garrett wanted to have the indefinite part of his punishment dropped.
As it turned out, he got neither.
Last week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell outlined a potential path for reinstatement for Garrett, who recorded 10 sacks in 10 games this season.
"He will not play the rest of the season," Goodell told OTG's Gary Myers. "He will probably meet with us sometime in the offseason and I think we'll make a judgment on, 'does he have remorse? Does he understand why it's not acceptable? Do we understand what he's going to do to make sure it doesn't happen again?' Those are the things that I think are going to be very important for us."
Browns general manager John Dorsey released the following statement:
"As we’ve consistently stated, our organizational support for Myles will continue. He is a man of high character and unquestionable integrity. He was open and honest with us about the incident from the start. He has taken accountability for his actions on Thursday night and this situation will not define him. As an organization, our focus going forward remains on the task-at-hand, which is preparing for the Miami Dolphins."
WATCH: Jim Donovan and Dave "Dino" DeNatale have more on the Garrett suspension and aftermath on Thursday's editon of Donovan & Dino.