Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph denied directing a racial slur at Browns defensive end Myles Garrett in the brawl that occurred at the end of the Week 11 game between the Steelers and Browns.
During his appeal hearing with the NFL on Wednesday, Garrett accused Rudolph of using a racial slur, ESPN's Josina Anderson and Adam Schefter reported. After the NFL "found no such evidence" of the slur, Garrett released a statement saying he "knew what he heard."
"I think any human would be in one day, when your integrity's attacked and something's said about you that's totally untrue," Rudolph said Sunday about the accusation. "And I couldn't believe it, and I couldn't believe that he would go that route after the fact. But it is what it is. I think I've moved on, and -- one day it was tough."
The comments come over a week after Garrett hit Rudolph on the head after yanking off his helmet. Garrett's indefinite suspension through the rest of the season was upheld, though the NFL is "optimistic" that Garrett will be back on the field in 2020.
Meanwhile, Rudolph was later fined $50,000 for his role in the brawl. Rudolph's lawyer initially denied Garrett's accusation of his client using a racial slur on Wednesday. The situation resulted in fines for 33 players of over $732k.
In his first game since the incident, Rudolph was benched for ineffectiveness in the third quarter after completing 8 of 16 pass attempts and throwing an interception in the red zone against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers went on to win the game with QB Devlin Hodges leading the way, 16-10.
Rudolph says he does not believe the altercation is to blame for his subpar performance.
"I think I do a good job of shutting that stuff out," Rudolph said. "And this was just purely -- not moving the ball up and down the field."
Two weeks after the incident, the Steelers and Browns will meet again in Week 13 in a rematch following the brawl.