Cam Hayward avoided sacking when he appeared to punch Justin Herbert in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s Chargers-Steelers game, but the NFL Network Reported Monday Hayward “reviews their actions for fines, not suspension.”
With nine minutes left, Los Angeles took a 27-20 lead in Pittsburgh and Pocket fell in third and 5. Herbert scrambled for Pittsburgh 11 for 36 yards – weaving left and cutting back the middle. Hayward eventually chased him and tackled Herbert from behind. Hayward pushed back Joshua Palmer when he tried to pull a Los Angeles wide receiver from the quarterback.
When Hayward rolled Herbert to the ground and saw his right hand thrust into Herbert’s gut, the Chargers set up a touchdown to take a two-possession lead by pulling an unnecessary rugged flag.
Hayward said after the game that he did not think he was trying to punch Herbert and “there’s nothing behind it.”
“To be honest, I was running behind the ball and I put my hand down, and when I was trying to get up, I couldn’t get up and I fell on him,” Hayward said. “I know it’s scary, (but) there was nothing malicious behind it.”
Pittsburgh eventually rebounded to take a 37-34 lead with 3:24 to go, but a minute later Herbert’s 53-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams served as the winning score. Herbert finished the night 30-41 with 382 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
“I’ve never really seen it,” Herbert He said The aftermath of Hayward’s obvious punch through the Orange County Register. “He’s a tough player. Football is an emotional game. What happened, happened in the game. We shake hands and say ‘good game’ after the game.
Hayward was selected by the Steelers in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft and signed a four-year extension to stay with the team last season. Hayward made four Pro Bowls, earned two first-team All-Pro honors and recorded 49 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 10 games this year.
Pittsburgh travels to Cincinnati next Sunday to cross the Bengals and move on to second place in the AFC North – topping the Ravens and their 7-3 record.