The NFL announced Tuesday that although not flagged in the game, Terence Garvin’s season ending hit on Bengals Punter, Kevin Huber was illegal and sent the Steelers linebacker a $25,000 for his troubles.
What was first feared as a broken jaw has turned out much worse as after medical consultation. Huber was diagnosed with a cracked vertebrae in the neck resulting from the big block which sprung Antonio Brown free on his punt return TD this past Sunday Night.
As I said the play was not originally flagged, however upon review the NFL’s vice president of officiating, Dean Blandino says that “Huber is a punter, even though he is pursuing the play he still gets defenseless-player protection”.
He continues to state that: “This is an illegal block. It should have been a flag for a 15-yard penalty,” Blandino explained “You’ll see the close-up where you can see the contact to the head or neck area. So this will certainly be a point of emphasis this week, especially with our referees who are responsible for the punter on plays like this.
“We have to watch the punter, he’s defenseless,” Blandino added. “And we want to flag hits like that.”
Bengals kicker Mike Nugent took over punting duties on the day although Shawn Powell, formally of the Buffalo Bills has been signed on a permanent basis as Huber’s replacement.
Thankfully, Huber took the injury in good spirits:
Here is the hit just in case you missed it: