Mason Rudolph has expressed his regret over failing to keep his cool in a melee that resulted in Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett being suspended indefinitely without pay by the NFL.
Garrett ripped Rudolph's helmet off and hit the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback on the head with it in an ugly end to a 21-7 victory for the Browns last Thursday.
Mason Rudolph speaks about the way our game vs. the Browns ended. pic.twitter.com/cfw9XEgMq1— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 20, 2019
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was suspended without pay for three games and fined for fighting as tempers flared, while Cleveland's Larry Ogunjobi was banned for one game for unnecessary roughness.
Rudolph took his share of the blame for the incident when he addressed the media six days later amid uncertainty over when Garrett will play again after he launched an appeal.
He said: "Thursday night, to say the least, it was an unfortunate situation for everyone involved. I can consider it a privilege, not a right, to be part of a first-class organisation representing the Rooney family and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"I did not do a good enough job to help our team win the game, looking back on the second-to-last play of the game, I fell short of the mark there too.
"Should have done a better job of keeping my cool in that situation and in retrospect I put Maurkice Pouncey - probably one of the best team-mates I've ever had - in a tough spot, as well as my team-mates.
"The way I saw it, on the final play of the game, with the game in hand the way it was, we had already lost two of our players for targeting penalties and as I released the ball, I took a late shot, did not agree with the way he took me to the ground and my natural reaction was just to get him off from on top of me.
"Again, I should have done a better job handling that situation. I have no ill-will towards Myles Garrett, great respect for his ability as a player and I know if Myles could go back, he would handle the situation differently.
"As for my involvement last week, there is no excuse, the bottom line is I should have done a better job keeping my composure in that situation and I fell short in what I believe it means to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and a member of the NFL."
Rudolph stated that he did not make any comments to antagonise Garrett.
"I definitely didn't say anything that escalated it, but I have to do a better job of keeping my composure," he added.