As Bengals punter Kevin Huber is getting set to have surgery to repair his fractured jaw on Friday, the fifth-year man fielded questions from the local media on Wednesday. Since being knocked out by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin for the season, there has been a bit of a media firestorm surrounding the whole incident. Fueling that fire was Dean Blandino's (the NFL's Vice President of officiating) proclamation that the hit was illegal on Tuesday.
If you're wondering if Huber holds a grudge against Garvin for ending his season prematurely, it sure doesn't sound that way. "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've got to deal with it. I'll be fine, I'll be back next year." Huber said (via Coley Harvey at ESPN). Both Harvey and Joe Reedy of The Cincinnati Enquirer noted that Huber hasn't heard from Garvin about the play. He doesn't expect to, either, it sounds: "If some guy would call to apologize for every hit they made, guys would be on the phone all the time."
As for Blandino's ruling of the play being illegal, Huber was a bit more terse about that than a potential issue with Garvin. "It's great they said it, but at the end of the day, it doesn't do anything now," Huber said. It would seem that this statement encapsulates Bengals fans' sentiments on the play being illegal as well. No penalty, loss of punter for the year and a back-breaking touchdown to put the game out of reach. Triple-whammy.
For the first time since the injury occurred, Garvin spoke up about the play publicly. "I'll probably say something to him, let him know I'm praying for him and hope he gets healthy," Garvin told reporters. "I fell down on the play and I got up and saw [Brown] coming towards me so I was like, 'Oh, I've got to try and help him break on this play'. I wasn't out there trying to be vicious. When you're in the game, you're really just trying to make a play and help your team out."
Garvin claims that it's the nature of the NFL beast and his intention wasn't to hurt anybody. Still, the play was illegal and even seven-year old's are holding ill wishes against Pittsburgh's rookie 'backer.