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Punters didn't know they were protected

Several punters in the NFL were totally unaware that they were protected throughout the entire play... and they don't really like that.

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Three things happened when Terence Garvin hit Bengals punter Kevin Huber.

  1. Huber's season ended with a broken jaw and cracked vertebrae.
  2. Garvin will reportedly be fined $25,000 by the NFL -- and become a smaller version of Kimo Von Oelhoffen and Hines Ward while a seven-year old wants him to lose his house and live out of his car.
  3. The punter community was shaken.

Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee, a hilarious guest on the Bob and Tom show every Tuesday, believes that it actually hurts the perception of punters because a rule existed that not even punters were aware of -- they are completely defenseless throughout the entire down, therefore protected.

"It kind of sets us back in the position," Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee said Thursday on "The Dan Patrick Show." "There's this perception that punters and kickers aren't athletes. ... There's a few of us trying to debunk that."

McAfee was the one that crushed Broncos returner Trindon Holiday earlier this year during a kickoff return.

Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, who didn't know that punters were protected throughout the play, agreed.

"Well, I don't think you should just punt the ball and walk off the field," he said. "You're still a football player. I'm not trying to say that it was a clean hit by any means, but once a punter goes down there, he's fair game."

For his part, Huber was in good spirits on Wednesday.

"Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘head on a swivel?’" he was asked. "Yeah," Huber responded. "I was swiveling it when I got hit."

"It was amazing you could run off the field under your own power," it was observed. "Well, it was cold outside," was Huber’s retort.

"It looked like you redirected your feet and were in position for a tackle," another observed. "If only my head moved as fast as my feet," Huber said.