Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin has been slapped with a $25,000 fine for the hit that broke Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber's jaw and cracked one of his vertebrae during Sunday night's game.
According to ESPN.com, Garvin plans to appeal the NFL fine
, which stemmed from a play during the first quarter when Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown returned a punt from Huber. The fifth-year punter was attempting to tackle Brown when Garvin slammed him to the ground
, where he lay motionless for several minutes before he was taken off the field.
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Bengals place kicker Mike Nugent filled in for Huber for the rest of the game, in which Cincinnati lost 30-20.
Garvin claims he wasn't trying to hurt Huber with the hard hit.
"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,'" he told EPSN.com. "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."
Many fans were outraged that the play didn’t draw a personal foul penalty from the refs.
Dean Blandino, the NFL's head of officials, told ESPN this week that there definitely should have been a penalty flag.
Following his injury, Huber tweeted out a message of thanks to fans.
Despite being out for the remainder of the season, Huber said he doesn't blame Garvin or hold any ill will toward him.
"There really is not much I can do about it now," Huber told ESPN.com. "Me just getting mad and stressing about it is only going to make it harder to get through.
"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."
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