Posted December 18, 2013

Terence Garvin fined $25K for hit on Bengals punter Kevin Huber

AFC North, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber averaged 45.7 yards on 66 punts this season.

Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber averaged 45.7 yards on 66 punts this season. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh linebacker Terence Garvin was fined $25,000 for the bone-crushing block he laid on Cincinnati punter Kevin Huber in Week 15, according to multiple reports.

NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Tuesday that the play warranted a 15-yard flag on Garvin, though one was not thrown as Antonio Brown raced to the end zone for a Steelers touchdown.

“Huber, he’s a punter. And the key is he’s defenseless throughout the down,” Blandino told the NFL Network. “So even though he’s pursuing the play, he still gets defenseless-player protection. You can’t hit him in the head or neck, and you can’t use the crown or forehead parts of the helmet to the body.”

Huber suffered a fractured jaw and a cracked vertebra, injuries that will cause him to miss the remainder of the 2013 season. The Bengals signed Shawn Powell to replace him.

“It’s not an easy thing to watch,” Huber said Tuesday when asked if Garvin’s hit was a cheap shot. “It’s not my job to make that decision. He came for a block, he got me blocked, and they scored a touchdown. It worked out for them on that play. It’s too bad it happened. I wish I could be out there playing.”

About 24 hours after making that comment, Huber was even less critical of Garvin’s play, per ESPN.com.

“It is what it is,’ he said. “It’s part of the game, I know — big hits. Unfortunately I got one of the big hits, and I’ve got to deal with it. I’ll be fine. I’ll be back next year.”

43 comments
betroit
betroit

As someone who played football for more than half my life, I am not sure if the game can continue to go in this direction and still be viable in the near future. The league was sued by former players for mucking up concussion protocols in the past and not being upfront on the true impact of those injuries in the long run. The league lost a ton of money on that and have added new concussion protocols that are actually working the way that they intended. This has trickled down to all levels of the sport and I support that.


What I cannot support, however, are these massive, unnecessary fines that we are seeing for shots that are a part of the game. In a full speed, contact sport there is a possibility that you can get hurt, or even die, every time you step on the field and every player that puts on his pads knows this. You can't launch into a guys head or neck area...ok cool. But what happens if you are coming in at the right angle and the runner ducks to protect himself, as he has been taught to do? Too many times you are seeing these situations coming up in penalties and fines as well. So now players are either going super low to avoid hefty fines and destroying knees and ankles, or they are over-thinking in a sport where in the heat of the moment you need to be able to read and react. Going half speed or over-thinking causes more injuries than going full speed ever did. You are actually seeing more injuries now over hits, more players are tearing ACLs or other ligaments, and more players are lost for the season or longer due to it. In a minute you won't be able to tackle low either and you might as well just give everyone flags and take off the pads. 

In many jobs you have occupational hazards that are just a part of the job and contact in the NFL is one of them. Without contact, football is NOT football. Did he hit the punter high...maybe. But honestly, what should he have done on that one (a low blow in that situation is illegal and would have cost the TD...you are taught to block up high, regardless of the situation)?

KTambo
KTambo

if huber cant take a hit he shouldnt play the game period.  25,000 is ridiculous.

seamillguesthouse
seamillguesthouse

Just another cheap shot by a dirty player on a dirty team with a dirt bag coach.

JohnnyLaw
JohnnyLaw

CONGRATS TO GARVIN!!!!!   This is Garvin's 15 minutes of fame.  To bad it cost you more half of your pay for the season, but at least you can return to the slums of Maryland with a good story.

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

If you can't hit someone, he needs to wear a special jersey like QBs do in practice so that the other players know which player is the designated sissy.  

cbsrugby
cbsrugby

Last time I checked, this was a contact sport. If you are a PROFESSIONAL athlete, than you should be responsible for your own well being on the field. This was NOT a cheap shot and should not have resulted in a fine. He hit him square in the chest with his helmet and arms in an attempt to block him from making a play on the returner. Any player allowed on the field should be held to the same rules. Kickers are no exception. If Garvin would have led with his helmet and arms down, like a missile, then this should have been flagged. If this was a head shot, then it should have been flagged. If all you crybabies are going to complain about the violence in this sport, than go watch soccer.

ki.nazir72
ki.nazir72

Don't worry they'll be playing touch football soon enough and all will be well! There's no crying in football either. Played football for years been laid out a few times. Very few shots were dirty, maybe two or three. Never felt anybody was out to destroy someone, are there a few who are? Yep, but most like the physical nature of competition. You don't like getting hit, don't play. I switched from offense to defense because I hated to get hit lol…it hurts! Also served in the military, didn't like getting shot at…I ducked! You can only side step rain drops for so long before you eventually get wet. Or as my good friend Hunter S. Thompson would say, "buy the ticket, take the ride!"

playemball
playemball

$25 grand is a joke.  Where's Garvin while Hubers out for the rest of the yr?  Just saw the tape where they interviewed Huber asking if he had heard anything from Garvin, and he replied no..now that's classy..

rkcla08
rkcla08

new rule:  center snaps ball to punter.  punter kicks ball.  punter then turns around and scurries toward and out of the end zone and becomes ineligible to play football.


zevgadol
zevgadol

Outrageous. Garvin intended to inflict grievous injury. And he did. Huber could have easily become paralyzed if not murdered. Huber was highly vulnerable regardless of being a punter. Garvin launched himself into Huber and thrust his helmet into the throat/jaw. Totally unnecessary to effect a successful block. The act was criminal and not protected by assumption of risk or consent. Shame on the NFL. Maybe they are trying to protect the refs who should have called the foul AND ejected Garvin.

nrlake8
nrlake8

People this is football! We need to quit babying players! If you dont like to be hit then dont play the game. If you dont think its fair then dont watch it! And the punter being considered a (defensive player) is the most ridiculous thing ever! So its ok to let (P) Matt Prater Colts big hit tackle (PR) Holiday Denver, but not ok to big hit block a punter! Hmm Not Right

Dutch2000
Dutch2000

If the NFL cared about player safety, Garvin would have to sit until Huber is able to play again...and he wouldn't be paid for those games he's sitting out.

PattyMoriarty
PattyMoriarty

$25,000 is not enough.  He should be fined $100,000, suspended for the rest of the season and for 6 games for next season.  There is no sense in that kind of behavior. 

AlexCsondes
AlexCsondes

Definite cheap shot. Garvin is a ROOKIE, but he still drove the top of his helmet into the guys throat/jaw, could have crushed his esophagus and killed him right there. Should have gotten a higher fine and suspension for a block too high. THE NFL IS STILL SOFT

Rick G1
Rick G1

3-4 cause for penalties on 1 play and none called - the steelers didn't need the refs help that much - that jerk that just retired from the steelers - hiney ward, broke a bengal linebacker's jaw several years ago - that was illegal to, but never flagged

ChitownTexan
ChitownTexan

That hit, plus two holds and an unnecessary roughness all in that clip. Were the refs on a smoke break for that punt?

ydennek1
ydennek1

Though I think 25K was too low a fine for that particular hit,   I really do not understand Blandino saying the punter is "ALWAYS" a defenseless player.


Negative!  If the punter wants to play linebacker (which I believe he should in that situation)--he can get blocked like one.  Again, I think Garvin's hit was a bit over the top though.

Michael39
Michael39

That's it?  The NFL just showed how little they actually care about player safety.

terlilgnt
terlilgnt

@betroit So sad that the simply the idea that someone could die in the course of amusing you (or the public, in general) hasn't caused an exodus of "fans".  Nope, quite the contrary folks bemoan the lack of life altering violence inflicted on others while they cram yet another handful of honey BBQ chips into faces.

BrunoPassacantando
BrunoPassacantando

@betroitI disagree with these other 2 commenters. Your comment was a concise summary of the status of football today - thank you. Perhaps the advanced technology that goes into the helmets makes football players feel safe and also makes them feel like they can dole out these hard shots to other players without fearing for their own safety. I bet a return to the leather helmets of old would stop these types of hits in a heartbeat!

The Admiral
The Admiral

@betroit Are you serious? Just calling something a "game" doesn't mean criminal acts are sanctioned. The game of football would be fine if we kept the ghetto thugs out of it. You can interpret that any way you want. Garvin should have been placed under arrest for felonious assault and hauled off the field in handcuffs. The same thing should have happened with Hines Ward (another Steeler, imagine that?) a couple of years ago. 

Fleeb
Fleeb

@betroit Congratulations for writing the densest block of text I've read all week. I suggest you invest in a copy of Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style," wherein you will find techniques that will help you get to the point.


The point is this: in today's NFL, if you drive the crown of your helmet into somebody's face as hard as you can, you will be fined. If you have a problem with that, perhaps you took too many head-shots during your half a life of football.

playemball
playemball

@KTambo I agree..25K is ridiculous..should've been 100K easily and a suspension!

fritel08
fritel08

@JohnnyLaw He makes more than $50K on the season. He makes $24K a week (Game weeks). He will appeal and it will get lowered because the fine breaks the rule in their collective bargaining agreement in which a fine would not be assessed that is more than 25% of a player's weekly salary. Check your facts before you spew useless garbage

Ryan19
Ryan19

@RobertSmith Where do you get that the punter couldn't be hit?  Oh, I see...you don't know the rules or have any idea what you are talking about.  The punter can definitely be hit.  He just can't be hit in the head or neck and he can't be hit with the crown of the helmet.  So Garvin easily could have put a legal hit on Huber, but he chose not to.  


I guess we all now know that you are the designated moron.  Please learn the rules before you make ignorant comments.  

FrankBeans
FrankBeans

@cbsrugby  Past players successfully sued the NFL for nearly a billion dollars.  Apparently they forgot they signed up for a contact sport.


If the NFL is going to get sued, they have to protect themselves by protecting the players.


What don't you guys understand about this?  The players are the ones who are the ones responsible for these types of rules.

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

@cbsrugby Hits in the chest rarely break jaws.  It was clearly a helmet to helmet (or helmet to jaw) hit.   Please explain how that "chest" hit resulted in a broken jaw that is now wired shut.

playemball
playemball

@rkcla08 new rule from SI..moronic posts from moronic fans should be banned!

rentistoohigh
rentistoohigh

@rkcla08 he must make sure he punts the ball first before running through the end zone

nrlake8
nrlake8

Im sorry Pat MacAfee (Colts)

playemball
playemball

@ydennek1 Of course he can get blocked like one..do you consider that a block though..exactly

coldmanfive
coldmanfive

@ydennek1Actually, he can't.  The rules clearly state a punter (and also a kicker, during kickoffs) is considered a player in a defenseless posture during a kick AND the return. 

playemball
playemball

@nrlake8 @zevgadol I believe we've all played football before..high school, maybe college..but I doubt there's any NFL players on here..dumb question.

T5
T5

@nrlake8 @zevgadol  I have, for many years. Garvin could have effectively block the punter without launching his helmet into the head and neck area. That is problem I have with it, not the hard hit.