(Gene J. Puskar / AP) (Gene J. Puskar / AP)

Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber suffered a broken jaw and cracked vertebrae on a punt return in the Bengals’ loss Sunday night to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin’s helmet hit Huber squarely in the chin, although no flag was thrown on the play. Garvin most likely will be fined.

The injury came late on a 67-yard return of a punt by the Steelers’ Antonio Brown. Huber left the game with a bloody face and will be placed on the season-ending injured-reserve list, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported.


“Seeing the way he was laying down there you are automatically thinking the worst,” kicker Mike Nugent said (via Cincinnati.com). “Working with someone every day like that, that’s family. It’s just tough to see someone in pain like that.”

Andy Dalton will replace Huber, whose jaw was wired shut immediately after the game, as Nugent’s holder.