Speculation was rampid as to why Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski benched Pro Bowl defensive end, Myles Garrett, for the first series during the Week 16 game against the New Orleans Saints.
Coach Stefanski did not provide much insight, and defensive coordinator Joe Woods only called it “an internal decision”.
#Browns DC Joe Woods deferred questions about Myles Garrett's first-series benching to Kevin Stefanski, saying it was 'an internal decision.'
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) December 29, 2022
Garrett commented about the benching on Friday.
What Garrett Said
Garrett called it a “misunderstanding”.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) December 30, 2022
It was related to his illness last week that prevented him from practicing.
#Browns Myles Garrett said he thinks the situation regarding him reporting an illness that saw him sat for a series was a "miscommunication."
When asked about Kevin Stefanski's choice to sit him: "I respect his decision."
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) December 30, 2022
“I respect his [Stefanski’s] decision.”
Garrett did not elaborate on the source of the miscommunication.
There was also reportedly a fine, of an undisclosed amount, assessed to Garrett for this issue.
Though all is well now, it is still surprising that a captain and veteran of the team did not communicate properly when he was ill.
It is the latest off-the-field issue for Garrett in an odd season that included being involved in a serious car accident as he was leaving practice back in September.
Browns confirm Myles Garrett was taken to hospital with non life-threatening injury after car accident on way home from practice.
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) September 26, 2022
Garrett Turned 27 This Week
In the midst of all the speculation regarding his benching, Garrett celebrated his 27th birthday this week.
Happy Birthday to the guy who casually became Cleveland's all time sack leader at just 26 years old.
Myles Garrett. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/6bj8nOOmXj
— Nick Karns (@karnsies817) December 29, 2022
He has accomplished a lot in his NFL career, but he is constantly motivated to achieve the ultimate prize, a Super Bowl Championship.
It is disappointing that the Browns are not in the playoffs, but hopefully, Garrett and the defense figure out what they need to do to be more dominant in 2023.