Jets guard Matt Slauson doesn’t see why people have been making a big deal about his block on Texans linebacker Brian Cushing that resulted in a torn ACL for Cushing.
If a report from Jay Glazer of FOX is correct, he probably won’t be able to make much sense of why the league is fining him $10,000 for it either. Glazer reported Thursday afternoon that the league has decided to fine Slauson that amount for the blindside cut block that ended Cushing’s season. Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News confirmed Glazer’s report and adds that the league deemed it an illegal peel back block. He also reports that Slauson will appeal the fine.
There is currently no rule about hitting a player low on a blindside block, terming it a peel back block does constitute a rules violation, although Slauson could have been flagged if he hit Cushing in the head or neck on the same play. Even Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips conceded that his problem with the play wasn’t legality but the fact that the block was unnecessary in the larger context of the play. Unnecessary legal blocks, which happen plenty, don’t tend to result in fines, though.
The rule on peel back blocks is one that the league should take a look at in the offseason, because, right now, there’s a bit of a disconnect between the current rules and plays like the one that injured Cushing. If player safety is the goal, it should apply to all players on the field and all body parts, especially when players can wind up missing more time with a knee injury than a concussion.