Nothing makes us cringe like specialists getting wrecked by big hits. Kickers and punters are incredible at their jobs, but they're perennially out of place on a field with 4.4 40-runners, 300-pounders, and other superhumans. And when their (relatively) tiny bodies take massive hits, it reminds us why we're glad we don't play football.
We got a punter hit for the ages Sunday night on a 67-yard punt return touchdown by Antonio Brown, with Kevin Huber getting absolutely destroyed by Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin just ahead of the play.
BOOM. And although it looks like there's some helmet-to-helmet going on, this was deemed a legal hit.
Huber would fracture his jaw and miss the rest of the game -- and before you say "oh, he should still be kicking with just his mouth hurt" -- that means his mouth is probably wired shut right now. That's like, a car accident injury.
The Bengals' special teams take a huge dip with Huber out, since he doesn't really have a backup. Mike Nugent assumed punting duties, squeezing off a wobbly 37-yarder on his first attempt that spent most of its time dribbling along the ground. Huber is also the team's holder on field goals, and although you think it's a pretty insignificant task, things have a tendency to go pretty wrong when a team's holder is out.
It's probably been the least fun night of the Cincinnati native's career -- he'd previously fumbled a snap and was tackled on Cincinnati's one-yard line, leading to a nearly immediate Steelers touchdown.America's favorite punter had a take on this:
Punters do not generally wear mouth guards. Interferes with your breathing, and they're annoying.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) December 16, 2013
And yes, I've gotten hit like that before. Not to the extent where I bit my tongue off, but I've been blindsided. It sucks.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) December 16, 2013
Fractured jaw is pretty bad too. Hope that Steelers player feels like a real tough guy. Fucking dickhead.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) December 16, 2013