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Browns, Steelers brawl at end of Cleveland’s 21-7 win

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By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

Players: Ben Roethlisberger, Colin Kaepernick, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, James Conner, Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Mason Rudolph, Jaylen Samuels, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Antonio Callaway, Diontae Johnson

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) goes after Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Cleveland. The Browns won 21-7. (AP Photo/David Richard)


Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) hits Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) with a helmet during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)


Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., left, can't hold on to the ball under pressure from Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)


Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates after throwing an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Stephen Carlson during the second half of the team's NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)


Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Johnny Holton (80) makes a diving attempt at the goal line but can't hang on to the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


CLEVELAND (AP) The Cleveland Browns kept fighting long after the outcome had been decided, and it likely will cost them their best defensive player.

And maybe their season.

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ripped off Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph's helmet and hit him with it in the head in the final seconds as the Browns' 21-7 win over the Steelers on Thursday night ended with a wild brawl between the rivals.

Garrett faces a likely suspension for his actions, and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey will likely be disciplined for kicking Garrett in the head.

''I lost my cool and I regret it,'' Garrett said. ''It's going to come back to hurt our team. The guys who jumped into the scrum, I appreciate my team having my back, but it never should have gotten to that point. It's on me.''

Players from both sidelines spilled on the field during the melee, which began after Garrett wrestled Rudolph to the ground well after he completed a short pass on a meaningless play. Garrett, Pouncey and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi were ejected.

Rudolph got his hand on Garrett's helmet first as the players grappled on the ground, but Garrett escalated the brawl after he got back on his feet. He yanked the helmet off Rudolph and swung wildly, hitting the quarterback on the top of the head.

Rudolph threw his arms in the air in disbelief after the impact, and Pouncey retaliated by punching and kicking Garrett.

''I thought it was pretty cowardly and bush league,'' Rudolph said. ''I'm not going to back down from any bully. I felt like I had a bone to pick with him. I appreciate the line always having my back, but I was angry.''

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield called Garrett's actions ''inexcusable'' and Fox commentator Troy Aikman said they were ''barbaric.''

Mayfield said the incident overshadowed a win that the Browns should be celebrating.

''It feels like we lost,'' he said.

Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was shown replays of the brawl on the NFL Network set.

''It's ugly,'' Beckham said. ''It's not something we want in the NFL.''

Rudolph, a second-year player who took over for the injured Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2, has already missed time this season with a concussion after he was knocked unconscious from a helmet-to-helmet hit by Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas.

''Myles is very upset about it. He's got to maintain his composure,'' Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said.

Before the ugly ending, Mayfield threw two touchdown passes and scored on a 1-yard plunge as Cleveland held on to defeat the banged-up Steelers for just the fourth time in 10 years and improved to 2-0 in the AFC North for the first time.

The Browns (4-6) have won two in a row after dropping four straight, a skid that put first-year coach Freddie Kitchens' job in jeopardy.

But Mayfield's 8-yard TD pass to undrafted rookie tight end Stephen Carlson with 5:25 left helped clinch a rare win over the rival Steelers. And softer upcoming schedule has eased the pressure on Kitchens and given the Browns some hope they can end the NFL's longest playoff drought.

The loss was especially damaging to the Steelers (5-5).

Pittsburgh lost its top two playmakers as running back James Conner (shoulder) and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) suffered injuries in the second quarter and didn't return.

Without them, Rudolph didn't have enough help and threw four interceptions.

In the third quarter, Steelers rookie wide receiver Diontae Johnson got concussed from a vicious hit by Browns safety Damarious Randall, who was ejected.

Browns running back Nick Chubb had 92 yards and went over 1,000 this season.

Despite the injuries, the Steelers were within 14-7 entering the fourth quarter after Rudolph connected with Jaylen Samuels for a 3-yard touchdown pass.

The score was set up by Cleveland's secondary, which was called for three penalties - one of them Randall's ugly hit - totaling 58 yards on the scoring drive.

But the Browns were able to put it away late after linebacker Joe Schobert intercepted Rudolph for the second time and returned it to Pittsburgh's 9. On third down, Mayfield bought time and connected with Carlson in the back of the end zone - his first NFL reception.

The Browns have been wrapped up in drama all season, and that was the case again Thursday as the team released wide receiver Antonio Callaway just hours before kickoff.

Callaway, who served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy earlier this season, was benched by Kitchens for arriving late to Sunday's game against Buffalo.

KAEPERNICK WORKOUT

The Browns are one of 11 teams committed to attending former quarterback Colin Kaepernick's workout in Atlanta this weekend.

Owner Dee Haslam said didn't know who from the team would be at the workout to evaluate Kaepernick, who hasn't played since 2016 and became a polarizing figure when he kneeled during the national anthem to protest social and racial injustice.

''We are in support of anybody getting an opportunity to play football,'' Haslam said. ''We love that.''

INJURIES

Steelers: Along with the others, Pittsburgh lost LB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi (concussion) and CB Artie Burns (knee).

Browns: Safety Morgan Burnett sustained an Achilles injury in the first half and didn't return.

WATT'S UP

Steelers LB T.J. Watt took down Mayfield in the third quarter, giving him eight sacks in five career contests against the Browns. Watt has at least one-half sack in seven straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL.

UP NEXT

Steelers: Visit winless Cincinnati on Nov. 24.

Browns: Host Miami on Nov. 24.

Player Notes
Adam Vinatieri Nov 15 12:20am ET

Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri has been one of the NFL's worst kickers this year, but head coach Frank Reich remains confident in him. However, in Week 11 with the fantasy playoffs looming, you can't trust him in your lineups. He's missed five field goals and six extra points this season. He's below 80 percent accuracy in both categories, and this figures to be a low-scoring game. You just can't trot him out this week, as there are likely several options available that are better than him.

From RotoBaller

Marlon Mack Nov 15 12:10am ET

Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack has only cleared 100 scrimmage yards in a game twice this season. One of those was all the way back in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers. In Week 11, he has a good matchup that could see that number grow to three. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Indy's Week 11 opponent, have been decent against the pass, but they're allowing over 120 yards per game on the ground. Mack is still in the RB2 conversation every week because he gets good volume, and this week he has a fair bit of upside.

From RotoBaller

Jacoby Brissett Nov 15 12:10am ET

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (knee) is expected to start after missing last week's loss to the Miami Dolphins. After being a consistent QB2 for much of the season, he can't be trusted this week. He'll be without three of his top four wide receivers due to injuries, and he's playing against a defense that still has a fair bit of talent to make life difficult for him. With only four teams on a bye, there should be better streaming options available for this week than Brissett. Expect the Colts to lean heavily on the running game even with Brissett back in the fold.

From RotoBaller

Zach Pascal Nov 15 12:10am ET

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal was quiet last week, and he'll see an uptick in his stock this week with quarterback Jacoby Brissett (knee) expected to start. However, he still can't be relied on for anything consistent. He's been boom-or-bust wideout nearly every week since he showed up on the scene in Week 3. He'll also have to deal with cornerback A.J. Bouye a fair bit in this game, which further downgrades him. Unless you have no other options, look elsewhere at wide receiver in shallow leagues. The Colts should lean more on the run this week once again.

From RotoBaller

Eric Ebron Nov 15 12:10am ET

Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron wanted more opportunities, and he got them last week. He saw 12 targets, but he only came down with five of them. Regardless, he remains a TE2 in Week 11. The Colts are without three of their top four wide receivers due to injury, which puts Ebron in a position to make plays every week. He has three touchdowns on the year, and with three good tight ends on byes this week, there's a short list of players that can be in front of him. If you have a better option, you can start him, but the Jacksonville Jaguars have been average against tight ends this year. Especially if T.Y. Hilton (calf) misses another game, you could do much worse than Ebron.

From RotoBaller

Jarvis Landry Nov 15 12:10am ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry caught 4-of-7 targets for 43 yards and a touchdown in a 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. Landry got wide open on the left side of the end zone for a one-yard score in the second quarter, giving him a touchdown in three straight games. The veteran wide receiver has been trending up in recent weeks and draws a cake matchup against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. He will be a no-brainer fantasy option for that contest.

From RotoBaller

Cleveland Browns Nov 15 12:10am ET

The Cleveland Browns Defense put on a dominant showing in a 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. Cleveland intercepted Mason Rudolph four times and sacked him another four times in the win. It isn't all good news, however, as star pass rusher Myles Garrett is probably looking at a lengthy suspension for his role in a brawl at the end of the game. Garrett ripped off Rudolph's helmet and hit him with it after a sack late in the contest. Cleveland's defense will be a top option in Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins regardless of whether Garrett is available or not.

From RotoBaller

Baker Mayfield Nov 15 12:00am ET

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield got the job done in a 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. Mayfield completed 17-of-32 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a one-yard rushing touchdown on the evening. The rushing score was a gift as Odell Beckham Jr. appeared to have a touchdown reception which was overturned after the scoring play was reviewed, putting the ball at the Pittsburgh one-yard line. After a rough start to the season, Mayfield is starting to trend upwards. He draws a beautiful Week 12 matchup against the tanking Miami Dolphins.

From RotoBaller

Nick Chubb Nov 15 12:00am ET

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb carried the ball 27 times for 92 yards in a 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. Chubb was mostly bottled up by a tough Pittsburgh run defense but the 27 carries go down as a season-high as he became the first NFL player to rush for 1,000 yards in the 2019 season. He did check out near the end of the game with what appeared to be a groin issue. On the negative side, Chubb only drew one target as newly reinstated Kareem Hunt continues to cut into his passing game work. Either way, Chubb will be a lock-button play in Week 12 against a weak Miami Dolphins Defense.

From RotoBaller

Kareem Hunt Nov 15 12:00am ET

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt carried the ball six times for 12 yards and added six receptions for 46 yards in a 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. Hunt continues to be deployed as Cleveland's passing-down back, out-targeting Nick Chubb eight to one in the contest. Chubb also appeared to tweak his groin toward the end of the game, which could lead to more work for Hunt against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12 if Chubb is unable to play or is limited. Hunt's work in the passing game has him on the radar as a flex option in PPR leagues going forward.

From RotoBaller

Odell Beckham Jr. Nov 15 12:00am ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught 4-of-10 targets for 60 yards in a 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Beckham had a touchdown wiped off the board at the end of the first drive when official review revealed that his knee was down inside the one-yard line, right before the ball crossed the goal line. Beckham wound up settling for a 42-yard reception. He was mostly quiet for the rest of the game as he and Baker Mayfield continue to struggle to get on the same page. Despite the slow season, Beckham could very well erupt in Week 12 as the Browns take on the tanking Miami Dolphins.

From RotoBaller

Jay Ajayi Nov 14 11:03pm ET

Free-agent RB Jay Ajayi (Eagles) will visit the Philadelphia Eagles Friday, Nov. 15, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Ajayi played well for the Eagles in 2017, but knee injuries took a toll on his production. If he does return to the Eagles, he won't have any fantasy appeal in a crowded backfield.

From TheHuddle

Morgan Burnett Nov 14 10:33pm ET

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns FS Morgan Burnett (Achilles) has been ruled out for the remainder of the Week 11 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with an Achilles injury.

From TheHuddle

James Conner Nov 14 10:03pm ET

Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) has been ruled out for the remainder of the Week 11 game against the Cleveland Browns after suffering a shoulder injury.

Fantasy Spin: After his shoulder injury flared up, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Conner miss additional time going forward. Jaylen Samuels would be the back to own in Conner's absence.

From TheHuddle

JuJu Smith-Schuster Nov 14 10:03pm ET

Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) won't return to the Week 11 game against the Cleveland Browns after being diagnosed with a concussion.

Fantasy Spin: Diontae Johnson is currently second on the team in receptions and could be worth a flier as a desperation flex play if Smith-Schuster misses additional games.

From TheHuddle

Morgan Burnett Nov 14 10:03pm ET

Cleveland Browns FS Morgan Burnett (ankle) was taken to the locker room after suffering an ankle injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11.

From TheHuddle

Artie Burns Nov 14 10:03pm ET

Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers CB Artie Burns (knee) has been ruled out for the remainder of the Week 11 game against the Cleveland Browns after suffering a knee injury.

From TheHuddle

James Conner Nov 14 10:00pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (shoulder) and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) were forced to leave Thursday Night's game against the Cleveland Browns. Conner who missed the last two games with the shoulder injury, reaggravated it early in the game, while Smith-Schuster got sandwiched on a tackle in between multiple Browns defenders in the second quarter and immediately fell to the ground. If both players are forced to miss extended time, this Steelers offense becomes completely devoid of playmaking talent. Look for Vance McDonald, James Washington, Jaylen Samuels, and Trey Edmunds to receive immediate opportunities in their absence.

From RotoBaller

JuJu Smith-Schuster Nov 14 9:43pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (head) exited the Week 11 game against the Cleveland Browns after taking a blow to the head.

Fantasy Spin: Smith-Schuster will likely be evaluated for a concussion. If he ends up missing any time, Diontae Johnson and James Washington would become the primary targets in the passing game. However, neither player would be a must-start fantasy option with Mason Rudolph under center for Pittsburgh.

From TheHuddle

James Conner Nov 14 9:33pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) exited against the Cleveland Browns in Week 11 after injuring his shoulder and is questionable to return.

Fantasy Spin: It is the same injury that already forced Conner to miss time this season. Jaylen Samuels should step in as the lead back, and if Conner misses any additional time, Samuels can be a volume-based flex option with RB2 upside in PPR formats.

From TheHuddle