NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The NFL is reviewing the block by Jets guard Matt Slauson that ended the season for Houston Texans star linebacker Brian Cushing because of a knee injury.
Cushing was hurt in the second quarter of the Texans’ 23-17 win Monday night on a low, rolling hit by Slauson. Cushing walked off the field on his own, but didn’t return. He was placed on injured reserve with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
League spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that the play is being looked at, as USA Today first reported Wednesday.
“I wasn’t trying to hurt him, obviously,” Slauson said. “I must have just caught him by surprise, but unfortunately, things like that happen.”
Slauson insisted that the block was legal and hoped it didn’t warrant a fine by the league.
“I feel like it was a clean block,” Slauson said. “I’ve been told by my coaches it was a clean block, so I would be surprised. I hope I don’t (get fined). But, if I do, I’ll just deal with it.”
Slauson added that he has been told by every coach he’s had to cut on the backside of an outside zone play, such as the one in which Cushing was hurt. Slauson was not penalized during the game.
“I don’t know why this is a big deal,” Slauson said. “I feel bad that Cushing got hurt. That wasn’t my intent at all, but I’ve got to do my job.”
Coach Rex Ryan agreed with Slauson that it was legal, adding that some zone-running teams, including Houston, use cut blocks often.
“It’s not dirty, it’s just a technique,” Ryan said. “With us, clearly, it was a thing that was unintentional. I feel terrible for Brian and, really, the league. The league loses when you lose a player like that.”
The injury hasn’t affected Cushing’s confidence.
“Trust me when I say I’ll be back better than ever,” he tweeted. “I appreciate all the love and want u to know WE are STILL winning THIS year’s Super Bowl.”
Was it clean or dirty? Make your case in the comments below…
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