Yeah, it’s going to be a fun day.
The Browns and Steelers cross paths again on Sunday, 17 days after a 21-7 Cleveland win became marred by a final-seconds fracas that resulted in multiple suspensions and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
On Friday, Browns coach Freddie Kitchens wore a “Pittsburgh Started It” T-shirt during a night out with his family to see the new movie about Mister Rogers, who lived in Pittsburgh. On Sunday, via multiple reports and accounts, several Steelers players showed up at Heinz Field wearing T-shirts that say, “Free Pouncey.”
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey rushed to the defense of quarterback Mason Rudolph, after Browns defensive end Myles Garrett forcibly removed Rudolph’s helmet and hit him over the head with it. Pouncey received a three-game suspension; on appeal, it was reduced to two games.
And so the Steelers won’t have Pouncey and the Browns won’t have Garrett (who is suspended for at least the rest of the season) and Rudolph has been benched. Still, it’s safe to say that things could get a little heated on the field — making it critical for the officials to be willing to send a loud, clear, and immediate message if things get chippy early during Sunday’s game.