Myles Garrett says he won't let his helmet-swinging attack on Mason Rudolph define his career ... and he's ready to put the "small bump in the road" behind him for good.
The Cleveland Browns superstar was suspended a total of 6 games in 2019 after he hit the Steelers QB during a game against Pittsburgh on November 15.
The 24-year-old -- who just inked a massive 5-year, $125 MILLION extension to stay in CLE -- spoke with local media for the first time since the incident on Thursday ... and said he's ready to prove it was a one-time thing.
"My life is much bigger than one moment," Garrett said. "Me, the Browns, and my teammates are going to look past that."
"That will be just a small bump in the road."
Garrett says he's not concerned about being labeled a "dirty player" ... and he won't be "walking on eggshells" on the field to make sure he isn't viewed that way.
"That's just life," Garrett added. "You have one mistake and people are going to come after you."
"Me, I'm just going to keep on playing my game, not worrying about what people say. It's just a bump in the road. I know my teammates will have my back to de-escalate and keep it to football."
Garrett -- who accused Rudolph of using the n-word during the incident -- added he hasn't spoken to anyone with the Steelers organization in the months following ... but welcomes the opportunity to hash things over with the QB and coach Mike Tomlin.
"I have no problem talking with those guys, but there just hasn't [been any communication]. I don't have any ill-intent towards either of them."