Updated: Jan 2
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
On Friday, Cleveland Browns' head coach Kevin Stefanski named defensive end Myles Garrett the captain for Sunday's game against the Steelers. Stefanski said the choice has nothing to do with the incident that took last year between Garrett and Mason Rudolph.
"I don't want that to be misconstrued," Stefanski said via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. "It's a big game, so I'm sending the big guy out there, but it's in no way a call back to anything previously. So I just want to make sure that's clear."
According to Ulrich, Garrett wanted to be the team captain for the Browns-Cowboys game on Oct 4. because he's from Arlington, Texas, but Stefanski already named safety Andrew Sendejo the captain for the game. Stefanski told Garrett to pick another game to be the team captain, and he chose the Week 17 game against the Steelers.
Garrett was asked on Friday by the Cleveland media if he would hesitate to hit Rudolph too hard on Sunday. The 6-foot-4, 271-pound pass was perplexed by such a notion.
"Get out of here with that," Garrett said in a Zoom call with the Cleveland media. "That won’t run through my mind at all. He can get hit just like everybody else. I’m not going to put a pillow underneath his head before I take him to the ground. But I’m not going to do anything extra.
"It’s just a game. It’s a Steelers game. It’s a divisional game. It’s an important game. But going against him, it changes nothing for me. And just like with any other player, any other quarterback, if he reached out his hand for me to help him up, I’m going to do it if I see him and he’s on the ground. It doesn’t change my mindset at all knowing it’s him back there. And I don’t think my presence will do anything different for him. We’re just going to go out there and play like we always have."
According to Brooke Pryor of ESPN, Rudolph said on Friday that Garrett hasn't reached out to him in any capacity but says he has a lot of respect for him and the team.
"This game is too big to worry about anything external that happened years ago," Rudolph said.
Rudolph also said he’s willing to hear Garrett out if he would like to talk. We'll have to see on Sunday if the two exchange pregame pleasantries or have a conversation after the game.