Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett is struggling to let some things go.
Three weeks after being fined for a hit on then-Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky in a Thursday Night Football matchup that the Browns won 29-17 over the Steelers, Garrett remains irked that he was fined for the hit and Steelers right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor was not fined for jumping on top of Browns linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. after he was hurt on the play.
The Okorafor block on Walker and subsequent pile on occurred early in the third quarter of the game. On a shovel pass to RB Jaylen Warren, Okorafor climbed to block Walker, making contact and knocking him to the ground. With Walker down, Okorafor finished his block by falling on top of him.
Okorafor was not flagged for the hit on the play. However, he was flagged for being illegally downfield, negating the long run Warren had that would’ve at least put the Steelers in field goal range. Instead, Pittsburgh punted and Cleveland took control of the second half, outscoring the Steelers 16-3 and winning 29-17.
Speaking with Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, Garrett stated his displeasure that he was fined for the quarterback hit, but Okorafor was not fined for a play that many Browns called “bullshit” after the game in Week 3.
“I don’t want to say the two things are related, but it doesn’t make sense to me that [Okorafor] wouldn’t get a call from the league or a fine for jumping on a defenseless player who’s on the ground obviously in pain while I’m hitting a quarterback while he’s throwing,” Garrett told Cabot for Cleveland.com Friday.
Of course the Browns players were going to stand up for their teammate, who was injured on the play. That said, Okorafor did absolutely nothing wrong. He finished the play, just like many offensive linemen are taught when their defender is on the ground. He had no idea Walker was hurt.
It’s part of the game and occurs seemingly every week with offensive linemen. The fact there was no flag speaks to Okorafor not doing anything illegally. And now, there is no fine to assert that fact.
Garrett just likes to complain about, well, anything that goes against him. Was the fine for the hit on Trubisky ridiculous? Yes. But bringing up Okorafor’s non-fine was ridiculous from Garrett.
Asked by Cabot during his media availability Friday, Garrett stated that the roughing the passer calls and the enforcement of the rule is making things rather difficult for defenders.
“…I got a roughing the passer fine six days after the Pittsburgh game for hitting Trubisky, and I don’t believe there was anything else I could have done to avoid landing on him. I’m bending back towards the quarterback, and I hit him and I’m falling and there’s no way for me to fall but to lean to my left,” Garrett stated to reporters during his media availability Friday, according to video via clevelandbrowns.com. “They’re putting us in positions to where, if we don’t do everything in our power to avoid landing on him, even if that means causing injury to ourselves, it doesn’t make sense.
“It’s a contact sport. They’re wearing pads too. They’re not completely defenseless. They know they have a certain time to get the ball off and they have to be prepared for that.
It’s Week 6 and the Patriots are coming to town. Might be time to focus on that, Myles, rather than looking back on a game nearly a month ago and wondering why another player wasn’t fined.