NEW YORK, New York - The NFL has moved swiftly to crack down on players and clubs involved in the on-field brawl during Thursday night's clash between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns.
The Browns won the game 21-7 but the taste of victory was short-lived.
In the last seconds of the game Browns defensive end Myles Garrett tore the helmet off Steelers' quarterback Mason Rudolph and struck him in the head with it. This sparked a bfrawl between both sides with reserves coming in to take part.
Pittsburgh's Maurkice Pouncey was seen punching Garrett and kicking him after he had been tackled to the ground.
The game, televised and streamed by FOX, NFL Network, FOX Deportes, NFL digital, FOX Sports digital, Amazon Prime Video, Twitch and Yahoo Sports, was seen by an average audience of 16.1 million across all platforms.
The NFL on Friday announced the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns organizations had each been hit with a $250,000 fine.
The head body also announced three players Cleveland's Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi, as well as Pittsburgh's Maurkice Pouncey have been suspended without pay.
Garrett has been suspended without pay indefinitely at a minimum for the remainder of the regular season and postseason and must meet with the commissioner's office prior to a decision on his reinstatement. He was also fined an additional amount. "Garrett violated unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules, as well as fighting, removing the helmet of an opponent and using the helmet as a weapon," the NFL said in a statement.
Pouncey has been suspended without pay for three games and fined an additional amount for fighting, including punching and kicking an opponent.
Ogunjobi has been suspended without pay for one game and fined an additional amount "for unnecessary roughness, specifically for shoving an opposing player to the ground during an altercation."
"Additional discipline for other players will be forthcoming through the standard accountability process, including those players that left the bench to enter the fight area," the NFL said.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspensions can be appealed within three business days. Appeals are heard and decided by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.
"Last night, I made a terrible mistake. I lost my cool and what I did was selfish and unacceptable. I know that we are all responsible for our actions and I can only prove my true character through my actions moving forward. I want to apologize to Mason Rudolph, my teammates, our entire organization, our fans and to the NFL. I know I have to be accountable for what happened, learn from my mistake and I fully intend to do so," Garrett said in a statement released on Friday.
"That is not who Myles wants to be," Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said after the game on Thursday night. "That is not who we are going to be. You have to be able to maintain your composure in times like that and under no circumstances, we will need anything to do with anything like that. I am embarrassed. Myles is embarrassed. It is not good. He understands what he did. He understands it is totally unacceptable, and we got to get through it."
The Browns and the Steelers will come up against other again in a fortnight's time, on 1 December.