Cleveland Browns’ Myles Garrett has lost his appeal against his indefinite ban from the NFL for hitting Mason Rudolph with the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback’s own helmet.
Garrett hit Rudolph during the Browns’ win over the Steelers last week.
The suspension – for at least the remainder of the season – was upheld by the NFL on Thursday.
He will not be paid during the ban and will only be reinstated with the approval of NFL officials.
With eight seconds left in the game, Garrett wrestled Rudolph to the ground after he had released the ball, ripped off his helmet and swung it at his head.
A brawl erupted and defensive end Garrett was ejected from the game.
Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey, who was also ejected after the preceding scuffle, had his own ban reduced from three games to two.
Garrett said his actions at the end of his team’s 21-7 victory were “selfish and unacceptable” in a statement last Friday.
“I made a terrible mistake,” he added. “I want to apologise to Mason Rudolph, my team-mates, our entire organisation, our fans and to the NFL.”
US media reported that during the appeal Garrett had accused Rudolph of using a racial slur immediately before the incident.
However the Steelers said in a statement that “Mason vehemently denies the report”.
The NFL said there was no evidence Rudolph used racial a slur at Garrett.
Reports via BBC Sport