The NFL “discovered no such proof” that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph directed a racial slur at Cleveland Browns defensive finish Myles Garrett simply previous to final week’s brawl, league spokesman Brian McCarthy stated Thursday.

Garrett made the allegation throughout an attraction listening to with the NFL on Wednesday, sources advised ESPN’s Josina Anderson and Adam Schefter. Rudolph has strongly denied it.

“Mason vehemently denies the report of being accused of utilizing a racial slur through the incident Thursday evening in Cleveland,” Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten stated in an announcement. “He is not going to talk about this accusation any additional and his focus stays on preparation for Sunday’s recreation towards the Cincinnati Bengals.”

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On Wednesday, Rudolph advised reporters he did not say something to impress Garrett or escalate the state of affairs.

Contacted after the allegations had been reported, Rudolph’s legal professional, Timothy M. Youthful, stated: “Based on ESPN, in his attraction, Myles Garrett falsely asserted that Mason Rudolph uttered a racial slur towards him, previous to swinging a helmet at Mason’s uncovered head, in a determined try and mitigate his suspension. This can be a lie. This false allegation was by no means asserted by Garrett within the aftermath of the sport, by no means recommended previous to the listening to, and conspicuously absent within the apology printed by the Browns and adopted by Garrett.

“The malicious use of this wild and unfounded allegation is an assault on Mason’s integrity which is much worse than the bodily assault witnessed on Thursday. That is reckless and shameful. We could have no additional remark.”

Garrett made the allegation as a part of his preliminary feedback through the attraction listening to in New York, sources stated. It created an argumentative change about whether or not the allegation was permissible for use within the attraction at the moment.

When the allegation was made, appeals officer James Thrash remained stoic and took copious notes, sources stated. He did ask Garrett a query about how he would possibly act in a different way sooner or later, and Garrett conveyed he wouldn’t let occasions escalate like that once more.

Garrett’s indefinite suspension was upheld on Thursday, the NFL introduced.

Garrett was suspended for ripping off and swinging Rudolph’s helmet, hitting the quarterback within the head with it, with seconds remaining in final Thursday’s recreation. In asserting Garrett’s suspension Friday, the NFL additionally stated that Garrett must meet with the commissioner’s workplace earlier than being reinstated.

Rudolph initially tussled with Garrett on the bottom after which charged at him after Garrett forcibly eliminated the helmet. Rudolph hasn’t been punished, however a supply advised ESPN {that a} high-quality is predicted. The quarterback stated he would adjust to regardless of the league fingers out.

Sources advised ESPN that Garrett had knowledgeable some within the Browns group that he was going to say some delicate info as a part of his attraction.

Browns coach Freddie Kitchens on Thursday declined to deal with his discussions with Garrett in regards to the incident.

“What Myles and I speak about stays between Myles and I,” Kitchens stated. “I am positive Myles introduced himself professionally, like he is performed ever for the reason that second it occurred [and] afterward. He is been nothing however skilled in his responses.”

Plenty of Browns gamers stated Thursday that they hadn’t heard about Garrett’s accusation. Broad receiver Odell Beckham Jr. stated he believed his teammate.

“I simply do not see Myles as somebody who would lie or do something like that,” Beckham stated. “At this level, it’s what it’s. We’re all simply type of ready and simply hoping that justice is served.”

A supply advised ESPN’s Dan Graziano that Garrett additionally used a precedent-based argument through the attraction listening to, citing the NFL’s punishment of former Houston Texans defensive finish Antonio Smith, who was suspended in 2013 for 2 preseason video games and one regular-season recreation for swinging his helmet at then-Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito.

Garrett and the NFL Gamers Affiliation additionally argued that an indefinite suspension isn’t permitted underneath the league’s collective bargaining settlement, in response to the supply.

Two different gamers had been suspended from the brawl. Steelers middle Maurkice Pouncey acquired a three-game suspension for punching and kicking Garrett, and Browns defensive sort out Larry Ogunjobi acquired a one-game suspension for shoving Rudolph within the again.

Ogunjobi’s ban was upheld by Thrash on Wednesday.

ESPN’s Jake Trotter contributed to this report.