Punters aren’t usually accused of taking cheap shots against opposing players, but that’s exactly what happened on Sunday in Seattle.
Rams punter Johnny Hekker blindsided Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril, knocking him down after Hekker had punted and Avril had begun to turn around and go downfield. It was a dirty play that drew a 15-yard penalty.
On another punt later in the game, Hekker fell to the ground untouched to avoid getting hit by Avril and fellow Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett. After the game, Bennett said he didn’t have much respect for the way Hekker handled himself.
“He’s scared like a little girl,” Bennett said. “He’s trying to hurt Cliff. Cliff’s got a family too. He come and chips Cliff, what if Cliff blows his knee out? That’s the kind of player they’ve got on their team.”
Avril said Hekker apologized to him after the game, but Avril still wasn’t pleased with the shot Hekker took at him.
“That was a stupid move by him,” Avril said. “It took some discipline, for sure, not to chase him down and do something crazy. But we still got the yards [from the penalty], so it was a positive for us, I guess.”
Hekker will likely be fined by the NFL this week, a rarity for a punter but a justifiable move by the league in this case.