According to Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin should have been penalized for his hit on Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber during the first quarter punt return for a touchdown by Antonio Brown.
“Huber, he’s a punter. And the key is he’s defenseless throughout the down,” Blandino said on the Tuesday edition of NFL Total Access. “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.”
Blandino went on to describe the play that resulted in Huber suffering a broken jaw and a cracked vertebrae in his neck.
“This is an illegal block. It should have been a flag for a 15-yard penalty,” said Blandino. “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.”
So there you go, expect Garvin to be fined this week by the league.