The Steelers and Cleveland Browns rematch at Heinz Field scheduled for Dec. 1 is one that is going to be highly anticipated by the respective fanbases after the first game between the teams ended in a brawl that resulted in three suspensions and over a half million dollars in fines.
But it won’t be seen by a national audience.
Monday, the NFL announced that game, originally scheduled for a nationally televised 4:25 p.m. time slot on FOX, had been moved to 1 p.m., with regional coverage on local CBS affiliates.
The game was swapped with for the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs in a game between teams separated by a half-game for first place in the AFC West.
The 5-5 Steelers and 4-6 Browns are both fighting for their postseason lives in the stretch run, but the far more compelling storyline will be the fallout of them fighting one another last Thursday.
Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett will miss the game, while serving a suspension for the rest of the 2019 season. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey will also be suspended, pending his appeal, scheduled for later on Tuesday.
Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi will play after serving a one-game suspension, and Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, who many have accused of started the brawl despite being the one struck with his own helmet, will almost assuredly suit up.
The history of the rivalry between the two cities separated by a few hours’ drive is fraught with violent incidents, with Garrett’s assault last Thursday just the latest chapter.