TAMPA — The NFL suspended Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett indefinitely for ripping the helmet off Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and striking him with it Thursday. He will miss the remainder of the regular and postseason and will have to ask for reinstatement next year.
“There’s no place for fighting in this game,’’ Bucs coach Bruce Arians said Friday. “Whether it’s at practice, inter-squad practices (or) in games — there’s just no place for it. We don’t condone it. I know both of those coaches very well. They don’t condone it. It’s a shame it happened. It’s a very heated rivalry, but for it to happen at the end of the game like that, I thought it was a shame."
However, there was no suspension when a similar incident occurred between teammates during a 2009 Bucs practice.
In that incident, cornerback Aqib Talib swung a helmet during an altercation with left tackle Donald Penn. Talib missed Penn but struck defensive back Torrie Cox in the face and left a large laceration near his nose and right eye.
Cox was forced to miss several weeks in the off-season as a result but didn’t harbor any bad feelings toward Talib.
“That’s in the past,” Cox said at the time. “That’s football. It happened. Move on. Nothing serious happened and I’m out there still playing.”
Talib and Penn were fined by the team for the practice brawl, but there were no suspensions. Bucs coach Raheem Morris punished the entire team with extra conditioning drills, including wind sprints and repeatedly hitting the blocking sled.
Cox had some hard-luck injuries during his career. He had torn his anterior cruciate ligament three times. “I’m like that Jason guy (in Friday the 13th), you keep trying to kill him, you keep trying to kill him, but he keeps coming back,” Cox said. “I never fall.”
Cox, now 39, was a sixth-round pick from Pittsburgh who played for the Bucs from 2003-09. A hip injury landed him on injured reserve in November 2009 and he never played again. Talib was recently traded from the Los Angeles Rams to the Miami Dolphins.