CLEVELAND — Even with the Browns playing the Miami Dolphins this Sunday, much of the talk around Cleveland and the rest of the country this week has not been about the game itself.
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Instead, the talk surrounded last week's Thursday night matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which ended in a brawl featuring Browns defensive end Myles Garrett hitting Mason Rudolph over the head with the quarterback's own helmet. Garrett has since been suspended for the rest of the season, and multiple players (including Rudolph) received fines.
Many Browns fans were disappointed in the final punishment, believing Rudolph should've also been suspended for his role in the altercation (video showed him ripping at Garrett's helmet, kicking him in the groin, and charging him). Things escalated further when Garrett accused Rudolph of calling him a racial slur, a charge Rudolph denies and the NFL claims has not been proven.
But while Rudolph's punishment may be final, tailgaters in the Muni Lot were still taking out their frustrations before Sunday's game: Multiple videos posted on social media showed fans attempting to hit a piñata designed to look like Rudolph. As an added tough, the "whacking" tool was a Steelers helmet.
The Browns will face the Steelers again next Sunday on the road. While Garrett and Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey (also suspended) won't be there, Cleveland defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi will return, and Rudolph is scheduled to be under center.