Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett swings a helmet at Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) late in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Cleveland. The Browns won 21-7. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Steelers QB Rudolph denies report he used racial slur before melee with Browns’ Garrett

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph is denying he used a racial slur before his confrontation with suspended Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.

ESPN, using anonymous sources, reported Thursday that Garrett told the NFL that Rudolph used a slur just before a brawl between the two teams last week that included Garrett ripping off Rudolph’s helmet and then hitting the quarterback in the head with it. The NFL suspended Garrett indefinitely. He appealed the decision on Wednesday. The matter remains under review.

»RELATED: Fans react to Garrett-Rudolph incident

Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said Rudolph “vehemently denies” the report. Rudolph, who has not yet been disciplined for his role in the fight, said on Wednesday that there was “no acceptable excuse” for his behavior during the fight.

Cleveland coach Freddie Kitchens said he supports Garrett “in every way possible” but did not comment when asked if Garrett told Kitchens about the slur in the aftermath of the fight.

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