Sources: Hit also hurt Bengals punter’s neck

Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber not only suffered a broken jaw on a blindside block during a 68-yard touchdown return by the Pittsburgh SteelersAntonio Brown in the first quarter Sunday night, but sources say he also suffered a cracked vertebra in his neck on the vicious hit from Terence Garvin.

Huber, who also is the team’s holder for place kicks, will be placed on injured reserve. Doctors have told the punter that if his injuries heal properly, he should be able to resume his career next season, sources said.

The block by Garvin is under review by the league. Referee Ed Hochuli’s crew did not penalize Garvin for the hit that left Huber bleeding on the ground for three minutes before he was helped from the field. The team initially announced he suffered a fractured jaw, but X-rays determined he also suffered the cracked vertebra.

Huber was injured when he took a hard hit as he was running downfield to help on punt coverage. When Garvin hit him, the top of his helmet appeared to drive into the bottom of Huber’s face mask.

Brown’s score gave Pittsburgh a 21-0 lead. The Steelers (6-8) held on for a 30-20 victory over the Bengals (9-5) at Heinz Field. Bengals reporter Coley Harvey contributed to this report.

  • ESPN Senior NFL Analyst
  • Joined ESPN in 1991
  • Has covered every Super Bowl since 1979

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