Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has been suspended indefinitely after hitting Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with his own helmet in an ill-tempered end to their NFL game on Thursday.
An incredible ending to the AFC North clash saw Garrett hit Rudolph late before the pair tangled, leading to Garrett ripping off the quarterback's helmet and then striking him on the head with it.
The incident sparked a bench-clearing brawl between both sets of players.
Both teams have been fined $250,000 for the brawl that followed the incident, while Steelers centre Maurkice Pouncey has been suspended without pay for three games and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi suspended without pay for one game.
Garrett has been suspended until the end of the season, and possibly longer as he needs to meet with the NFL commissioner's office before being consider for reinstatement, and at a minimum of six games it's the longest ban in NFL history for a single on-field incident.
An NFL statement read: "Garrett violated unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules, as well as fighting, removing the helmet of an opponent and using the helmet as a weapon.
"Garrett has been suspended without pay indefinitely - at a minimum for the remainder of the regular season and postseason - and must meet with the commissioner's office prior to a decision on his reinstatement."
Garrett, who was slammed by his own quarterback Baker Mayfield for his unprecedented actions, released his own statement in response to the ban.
"Last night, I made a terrible mistake," said Garrett. "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 team-mates, 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."
Steelers QB Rudolph said he was "good to go" after the "cowardly" attack on him.
"I know it's bush league and a total coward move on his part," Rudolph said. "I get it. It's OK, though. I'm not going to back down from any bully out there."
Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam issued a statement in response to the ruling.
"We are extremely disappointed in what transpired last evening at the end of our game," read the statement. "There is no place for that in football and that is not reflective of the core values we strive for as an organization.
"We sincerely apologize to Mason Rudolph and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Myles Garrett has been a good team-mate and member of our organization and community for the last three years but his actions last night were completely unacceptable. We understand the consequences from the league for his actions."
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