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Bengals punter Huber reportedly done for season with broken jaw, cracked vertebrae

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber suffered two major injuries on a 67-yard punt return by the Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown in the first quarter of Sunday night's game, which will end Huber's season, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Huber was blocked by the Steelers' Terence Garvin on a very questionable hit (although no penalty was called) that likely will be reviewed by the league office for possible punishment.

Watch the video below for yourself: Should Garvin be fined, or possibly suspended, for his helmet-to-chin hit on the unsuspecting punter? And moreover, was it a legal hit? Debate raged on Sunday night through Monday on social media, and NBC's Cris Collinsworth seemed to sign off on the legality of it during the broadcast.

Former NFL rules czar Mike Periera, now working for Fox, seemed to disagree with what Collinsworth said.

And here's the rule, straight out of the NFL's Rule Book:

"It is a foul if a player initiates unnecessary contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture ... [including] a kicker/punter during the kick or during the return."

In addition:

"Forcibly hitting the defenseless player's head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder, even if the initial contact of the defender's helmet or facemask is lower than the passer's neck and regardless of whether the defensive player also uses his arms to tackle the defenseless player by encircling or grasping him [is illegal]."

It could have been penalized. It might draw a fine. It could earn Garvin a suspension. And it did send Huber to the hospital for a very serious injury.

So let's hear from you: Legal hit or not?

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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