When Mason Rudolph last played Cleveland in November 2019, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback had his own helmet ripped off and swung at his head by Browns defensive end Myles Garrett during a late-game brawl.
Garrett later accused Rudolph of using a slur, which the quarterback denied. Rudolph was fined $50,000, and Garrett was suspended six games.
When they face each other Sunday, that incident won't be motivating them, they said in the leadup to the game.
Rudolph, who has thrown four passes this season as backup to Ben Roethlisberger, is focused on his chance to start.
"It's very motivating in and of itself, 'Hey, I have a chance to play this week,' " he said.
Said Garrett: “He’s going to get hit like anyone else."
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) and quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) celebrate the come from behind victory in the waning seconds against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. (Photo: Joseph Maiorana, USA TODAY Sports)
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski has named Garrett captain for the game, but said not to read anything into it.
“It’s a big game, so I’m sending the big guy out there," he said. "It is in no way a callback to anything previous.”
The game is huge for the Browns, who can end an 18-year playoff drought if they win. It comes as they have dealt with COVID-19 issues during the week. But Stefanski says the team is ready.
"We understand that this is a win-and-you’re-in game," he said. "I think the guys are certainly excited about that opportunity, but we really try to ignore the news as much as possible."
Here's everything you need to know for Sunday's game:
What time does Steelers vs. Browns start?
The game at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland kicks off at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 3.
What TV channel is Steelers vs. Browns on?
The game will be aired on CBS.
How can I watch Steelers vs. Browns online via live stream?
Fans can watch the game via live stream on CBS All-Access or fuboTV.
What are the odds for Steelers vs. Browns?
According to BetMGM, the line is Browns -9.5 and the over/under is at 43.5.
Where can I find score updates for Steelers vs. Browns?
USA TODAY Sports will have all the latest on the game in our box scores.
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