PITTSBURGH -- Terence Garvin plans on reaching out to Kevin Huber, the Bengals punter he left with a broken jaw and cracked vertebrae following a crushing – and illegal – block in the Steelers’ 30-20 win this past Sunday night.
“I’ll probably say something to him, let him know I’m praying for him and hope he gets healthy,” Garvin said Wednesday.
Garvin expects to get fined by the NFL – the rookie linebacker has not heard from the league yet – for the block that helped spring Antonio Brown on a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown but also struck Huber in the chin.
Specialists are deemed defenseless by the NFL, and Dean Blandino, the league’s head of officials, told NFL Network on Tuesday night that Garvin should have been flagged for unnecessary roughness.
Garvin said there was no intent to hurt Huber, whom the Bengals placed on injured reserve on Tuesday.
“I fell down on the play and I got up and saw A.B. coming towards me so I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve got to try and help him break on this play,’” Garvin said. “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.”
Mike Tomlin said Garvin carried out his assignment on the play. But the Steelers coach also acknowledged “the nature in which the block unfolded is not what we’re looking for. It’s not what we coach. It’s not what he wants but that play hit pretty quickly.”
Steelers punter Mat McBriar said he hasn’t taken a hit like the one Huber absorbed.
“The league’s done a good job protecting specialists,” the 10th-year veteran said. "I didn’t know who it was initially and once I found out it was Kevin it was, ‘Gee whiz, I hope he’s OK.’ He seems like a really nice guy.”
Garvin made the Steelers as an undrafted free agent because of his special-teams play. He said the fine he receives from the NFL won’t curb his aggressiveness on the field.
“I’m going to try to play the way I grew up playing,” Garvin said. “You’ve got to think about things before you do them but you’ve still got to fly around and make plays the best way you can.”