Browns name 'big guy' Myles Garrett captain for win-and-in vs. Steelers, Mason Rudolph

Cassandra Negley
·3 min read

The storylines heading into Week 17 are plentiful for the Cleveland Browns and head coach Kevin Stefanski is adding more.

Stefanski said Friday that star defensive end Myles Garrett will serve as the Browns’ captain against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. The AFC North foe is starting Mason Rudolph at quarterback, raising eyebrows and attention after the helmet-swinging incident during last season’s game.

“It’s a big game and we want to send the big guy out there,” Stefanski said, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “It is in no way a call back to anything previously, so I just want to make sure that is clear.”

Myles Garrett.
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett will be the captain for the Steelers game. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Garrett chose to be captain vs. Steelers

Garrett chose this game to be captain after being unable to captain during the game against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4, he said Friday.

It’s the first time the Steelers are returning to Cleveland since the November 2019 incident. Toward the end of the Browns’ 21-7 victory Garrett tore Rudolph’s helmet off and hit the quarterback in the head with it. Garrett, who alleged Rudolph used a racial slur (Rudolph denied it), was suspended indefinitely and ended up missing the rest of the season. He contemplated retirement, but returned this season after being reinstated.

Stefanski and Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin downplayed the rematch earlier this week, saying it was in the rearview mirror. Garrett said Friday “it’s not me vs. him” and he’d be open to talking with the quarterback.

“Going against [Rudolph], it changes nothing for me,” Garrett said on a conference call with reporters.

The Steelers won the two previous meeting between the teams, both in Pittsburgh. This is Rudolph’s first start of the season after filling in for veteran Ben Roethlisberger last season while he rehabbed an elbow injury. Roethlisberger is sitting out the finale since the Steelers have already locked up the AFC North division title.

Browns trying to ignore noise

The Browns are in a win-and-in situation to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2002 season. The group is trying to “ignore the noise,” Stefanski said.

The Browns have dealt with positive COVID-19 cases over the past week and had to close its team facility twice. The group of receivers, including Jarvis Landry, who missed the Week 16 loss against the New York Jets due to contact tracing will be back for the finale.

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