The NFL agrees with the Houston Texans that New York Jets guard Matt Slauson’s block on Brian Cushing was illegal. The league fined Slauson $10,000 for a peel-back block on Thursday.
Cushing, who was placed on the injured reserve this week with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, was knocked out of Monday night’s 23-17 showdown after the block occurred.
The block sparked controversy on Twitter as Cushing’s former collegiate teammate Clay Matthews claimed there is a ‘double standard’ when it comes to player safety.
“If the NFL really wants to increase player safety, start protecting players on BOTH sides of the ball,” Matthews said on his Twitter account. “Where is the NFL's protection on blocks below the waist like that on Cushing. Double standard!”
Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips also made his opinions known.
“I thought it was unnecessary,” Phillips said. “Whether it was legal or not, all that stuff — I think it’s just unnecessary to hit a defensive player when he can’t see you.”
The Texans signed veteran linebacker Barrett Ruud to fill Cushing’s roster spot, but veteran Tim Dobbins is expected to start at inside linebacker.