Some will tell you that punters are people, too -- but Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber might want entry into a different species altogether after the first quarter in Sunday night's game between the Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. At the end of Cincinnati's first possession of the evening, Huber got set to punt from his own 16-yard line. But the snap was errant, and Huber was contacted near the end zone by safety Will Allen. Ed Hochuli's officiating crew originally ruled it a safety, but because contact was made before the ball broke the plane in the wrong direction, it was ruled that the Steelers would have the ball at the Cincinnati 1-yard line. From there, it took running back Le'Veon Bell two plays to grab Pittsburgh's first touchdown of the night, and a 7-0 lead.
(GIF courtesy of Bleacher Report)
Ah, but things were about to get much, much worse. With 1:27 left in the first quarter, Huber punted to Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, and had to watch as Brown returned his punt 67 yards for a touchdown.
Or, that is to say, Huber saw part of the touchdown -- as Brown was rolling toward the end zone, Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin absolutely creamed Huber with a vicious block right to the face. The block went unflagged, and Huber was seen with gauze packed into his mouth as he left the field. Initial reports indicated that Huber had a "dental injury," which was certainly the case -- he suffered a fractured jaw on the play and will obviously not return. He'll be replaced by kicker Mike Nugent, who had best keep his head on a swivel.
(GIF courtesy The Big Lead) Make fun of punters all you like, but remember -- those guys still have to hit the field. And once in a while, they hit the field all too literally.