Myles Garrett said he was regretful and embarrassed after losing his cool in a heated, physical altercation with Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with 8 seconds to play in the Browns' 21-7 win over the Steelers.
The Pro Bowl pass rusher was one of three Browns defensive players ejected in Thursday's game after he hit Rudolph with his own helmet after the two grappled and shoved following a third-down play late in the action. Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey were also ejected following the skirmish, which sent players from both sidelines onto the field and caused a lengthy delay.
"I made a mistake. I lost my cool, and it's going to come back to hurt our team," Garrett said. "The guys who jumped in to the scrum, I appreciate my team having my back, but it should have never got to that point. It's on me.
"What I did was foolish, and I shouldn't have allowed myself to slip like that. It's out of character, but in a situation like that where it's an emotional game, like Larry said, I allowed myself to fall into my emotions with the last play and what happened."
Garrett said he planned to apologize to the entire team when it next regroups.
"I am hurting my whole team with what I did, and it could come back to bite us. I don't know what kind of repercussion I face, but I have to be better," Garrett said.
"It's embarrassing, foolish and a bad representation of who we want to be and what we are trying to do with the rest of the season."
The unfortunate ending put a blemish on the Browns' first win over the Steelers since 2014, an effort that was led by Garrett, Joe Schobert and a Cleveland defense that forced four turnovers and held Pittsburgh to the lowest point total it's allowed all season.
"That is not who we want to be at the end of the game," Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said. "That is not who Myles wants to be. That is not who we are going to be. You have to be able to maintain your composure in times like that and under no circumstances do we want anything like that. I am embarrassed. Myles is embarrassed. It is not good. He understands what he did, he understands it is totally unacceptable, and we have to get through it."
The pall from it was more than apparent in Cleveland's locker room, where players such as quarterback Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. acknowledged the lingering feeling from Thursday's game felt like a loss, rather than the important division win that it was.
"Instead of feeling like we just won a game that we really needed – we talk about a singular focus and mindset – it feels like we lost," Mayfield said. "It is going to take time for us to realize that we just won this game, even though it is very obvious on the scoreboard, but that is the tough part.
"It is going to hurt us. Obviously, we do not know what is going to happen, but whatever does happen, next man up mentality. That is how we have to handle it. That is how this locker room has to handle it. We can't focus on the negative. That never gets you anywhere if you focus on the negative. We have to address it, move forward and see what is going to happen."
Check out photos of the Browns in action against the Steelers on Thursday Night Football