Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said Thursday the block by New York Jets guard Matt Slauson that ended Houston linebacker Brian Cushing’s season was “unnecessary.”
Cushing tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in the second quarter of the Texans’ 23-17 win Monday night on a low, rolling hit by Slauson. He walked off the field on his own but didn’t return to the game. He was placed on injured reserve Wednesday.
“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.”
Slauson was not penalized on the play, but a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that he has been fined $10,000 by the NFL. Another person with knowledge of the situation told the AP that Slauson will appeal the fine. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the league doesn’t announce fines until Fridays.
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Fox Sports first reported the fine for the hit, which Slauson and Jets coach Rex Ryan have defended as being legal. Slauson said Wednesday he thought it “would be a surprise” if he were fined.
Phillips said if he’d hit Cushing in his head, he would’ve drawn a flag.
“If a guy’s coming in front of me and cuts me, he can see that and yeah, they can get away with that,” Phillips said. “But when they don’t see you, I think the league needs to look at something like that.”
Slauson said Wednesday he felt like it was a “clean block” and was not trying to hurt Cushing.
“I heard that the league is looking into that,” Ryan said. “My take when I saw it, and now I’ve seen TV copies and all that, is that obviously, it’s an unfortunate thing. We talked about that.”
The Texans (5-0) play Green Bay (2-3) on Sunday night. Tim Dobbins will replace Cushing in Houston’s starting lineup.
CAN’T U TAKE A JOKE?
New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes says he was joking when he tweeted that he was “homophobic.”
Spikes, who is having a strong season, is a prolific user of Twitter.
He tweeted on Wednesday night that “I’m homophobic just like I’m arachnophobic. I have nothing against homosexuals or spiders, but I’d still scream if I found one in my bathtub !”
After receiving several negative comments on Twitter, he tweeted, “PEOPLE !!!! It’s a joke ... seriously a JOKE !!! Chill out”
Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel has been ruled out for Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay with a concussion, and Brady Quinn will start an NFL game for the first time since the 2009 season. ... The Colts will be without outside linebacker Robert Mathis, a four-time Pro Bowl selection at defensive end, for two to three weeks because of a left knee injury. ... Backup Jets nose tackle Kenrick Ellis, who was filling in for injured starter Sione Po’uha, will be sidelined four to six weeks with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. ... The NFL has taken away one of Houston defensive end J.J. Watt’s sacks from Monday night against Miami, dropping him to 71/2 – a half-sack behind Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews for the league lead.