The NFL acknowledged on Tuesday that Steelers linebacker Terrence Garvin should have been penalized for his vicious hit on Bengals punter Kevin Huber on Sunday night. And on Wednesday, the league took action against Garvin for the hit.
The NFL fined Garvin $25,000 for his hit on Huber, according to WLWT in Cincinnati. Huber suffered a broken jaw and cracked vertebrae as a result of the hit, and the Bengals placed him on season-ending injured reserve on Tuesday.
Garvin’s hit on Huber, which would normally be legal, was deemed a blow against a defenseless player by the NFL, as all kickers and punters are considered “defenseless,” per league rules. The tag doesn’t mean that Huber can’t be hit or blocked, but rather that players must refrain from hitting them in the head or neck area. Garvin’s block was to Huber’s neck.
Garvin, 22, is an undrafted rookie out of West Virginia. He plays primarily on special teams and has recorded three tackles this season. Even after the fine, which is almost one-tenth of his rookie minimum salary, Garvin says he doesn’t plan to change his style of play.
“When you’re playing football, you don’t think of all that, you’re thinking about doing what you’ve got to do to make a play,” Garvin said, per TribLive.com. “I wasn’t out there trying to be vicious or anything like that, I’m just trying to do what I can to make a play and help my team out. When you’re in a game, you’re trying to make a play, that’s all I’m thinking about.”
Check out a GIF of the hit below and judge for yourself.
GIF via GIFIllumination