Sheldon Richardson: Steelers QB Mason Rudolph was ‘asking for it’
The Steelers vs. Browns matchup ended with a vicious brawl. Here’s what Cleveland defensive tackle, Sheldon Richardson, had to say about Mason Rudolph’s involvement.
The ‘Thursday night brawl’ may be over with, but players from both sides are far from done fielding questions about the outcome of the fiasco last week. As we all know, Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph has been at the center of talks for his involvement in the vicious attack.
Rudolph was clearly fired up after Browns defensive end, Myles Garrett, drove him into the turf in the finals seconds of the game. He reacted by scrapping at Garrett’s helmet while the defender was on top of him and he continued to pursue Garrett after getting his own helmet ripped from his head.
While Rudolph certainly isn’t innocent in all of this, he’s far from the most guilty party. However, when Cleveland defensive lineman, Sheldon Richardson, was asked about Rudolph’s involvement in all of this, Richardson claimed Rudolph was “asking for it.” Richardson defended his teammate in his statement. Here was his response, according to USA Today Sports:
"“(Mason Rudolph) can’t antagonize a fight and then claim bullying. … you get what’s coming to you. He was protecting himself. I don’t blame him. Guy keeps rushing me, even with the helmet off, he’s asking for it. Just leave it at that.”"
I can’t say that I agree with Richardson here. While I would concur that Rudolph wasn’t innocent and he shouldn’t have got back into Garrett’s face to escalate the situation, nobody deserves to be clubbed in the head with their own helmet.
Rudolph suffered perhaps the most serious concussion in football just weeks ago. Against the Baltimore Ravens, Rudolph was knocked out cold and was motionless on the turf for a matter of minutes. Eventually, he was assisted off the field but remained in concussion protocol until Pittsburgh’s matchup against Miami following the bye week.
I get it. Sheldon Richardson is trying to stick up for his teammate here. After all, Myles Garrett was the first overall pick in the draft in 2017 and is highly regarded as the best player in a Browns uniform this season. However, there is no justifying his actions against Rudolph.
Rudolph’s lousy level of play last week (that included 4 interceptions) has been overshadowed by continuous talks of the brawl on Thursday Night Football. The young quarterback has dealt with a lot of woes on offense this year, but it’s time for him to clear his mind and start fresh as Pittsburgh takes on the Cincinnati Bengals this week.