Report: NFL fines Terence Garvin $25K for hit on Kevin Huber

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Kevin Huber broke his jaw on this first-quarter play. (USATSI)
On Sunday night, Bengals punter Kevin Huber suffered a broken jaw and cracked vertebrae when Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin delivered a helmet-to-chin hit during a first-quarter punt return.

Not surprisingly, Huber, who had his jaw wired shut after the game, has since been placed on injured reserve. And Garvin, who should have been flagged for an illegal block but wasn't, has been fined $25,000, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

(Some fans were calling for Garvin to be suspended, but as the Enquirer's Joe Reedy points out, only repeat offenders are subject to suspension.)

Huber made an unexpected visit to the Bengals' locker room Wednesday and he looked like he had been in a car accident. But he was in good spirits otherwise, telling reporters, “I'm feeling pretty good. The pain's pretty good, pretty tolerable. It's more uncomfortable than anything."

The punter said that he hasn't heard from Garvin nor does he expect to.

“If some guy would call to apologize for every hit they made, guys would be on the phone all the time," he said. "I'm not expecting any calls.”

Huber also hasn't spent much time dwelling on the hit or the injury.

“There's not really much I can do about it now. Me getting mad and stressed about it is only going to make it harder to get through," he said. "It is what it is. It's part of the game, I know, big hits. Unfortunately I got one of the big hits and I got hurt and I have to deal with it. I'll be fine. I'll be back next year. It's unfortunate and disappointing I can't be playing right now, going forward in these last couple of games to get into the playoffs. I can get mad all I want, but what's that going to do?”

On Wednesday, Garvin explained to Pittsburgh reporters that he originally fell down during the return. Then he got up and “I saw a color and I saw AB (Antonio Brown) coming towards me. ... I was just trying to do what I could to help him break the play. [Punters are] part of the team, they're on the field, they can make plays the same way everybody else can make plays.”

Except that, according to the rules, punters are considered a "defenseless player" during returns.

But we take Garvin's point nonetheless, and we're guessing Colts punter Pat McAfee doesn't consider himself a "defenseless player" (and neither does Trindon Holliday).

For Huber, there is a silver lining. Not only did he receive a get-well letter from his No. 1 fan, a seven-year-old named Nicholas, but Nicholas writes that he hopes "that Steelers player loses his house and has to live in his car."

So there's that.

 
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