Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph says he has not spoken with Myles Garrett since the aftermath of the 2019 incident between the players, but says he would be willing to do so.
“I’m happy to hear Myles out with whatever if he wants to approach me, if he wants to talk,” Rudolph said when talking with reporters on Friday in advance of his expected start against the Cleveland Browns.
Garrett assaulted Rudolph during the waning moments of the Steelers’ last trip to Cleveland on Nov. 14, 2019. Garrett ripped Rudolph’s helmet off and swung it at the Steelers quarterback, hitting him on the head. Garrett, who was suspended for the remainder of the 2019 season, claimed in the aftermath that Rudolph used a racial slur, something that Rudolph and his Steelers teammates have continually denied.
Rudolph attempted to put the incident behind him on Friday, instead choosing to focus on the importance of the game for both him, in getting his first start of the season in place of Ben Roethlisberger, and the Browns, who need a win to secure a playoff berth.
“He has not reached out to me in any capacity, but listen, I’ve got a lot of respect for Myles,” Rudolph said. “He’s a great player. They got a great defense, a great team. They’re playing for a lot. It’s gonna be a fun game. A lot of the lines for them, they are playing for a playoff berth. … This game is too big to worry about anything external that happened years ago.
Garrett said on Friday, after he was named Cleveland’s captain for the game, that he “wouldn’t do anything extra” if given the opportunity to lay a hit on Rudolph, despite their first on-the-field meeting since the incident being a significant storyline leading up to Sunday. Bookmakers have placed odds on Garrett committing a personal foul against Rudolph.