In an appeal hearing with the NFL on Wednesday, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett alleged that Mason Rudolph called him a racial slur just prior to last week’s brawl on “Thursday Night Football,” sources told ESPN’s Josina Anderson and Adam Schefter, an accusation the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback strongly denies.

“Mason vehemently denies the report of being accused of using a racial slur during the incident Thursday night in Cleveland,” Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said in a statement. “He will not discuss this accusation any further and his focus remains on preparation for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.”