Steelers Star Cam Heyward Says Punching Justin Herbert Had ‘Nothing Malicious Behind It’

by Samantha Whidden

Following last night’s Pittsburgh Steelers versus Los Angeles Chargers game, Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward has apologized to Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert for punching him in the gut during the game.

According to TMZ, the incident happened in the fourth quarter when the Steelers player chased and tackled Herbert. Heyward notably remained on top of Herbert for several seconds before Chargers wide receiver Joshua Palmer pushed him off.  Both Palmer and Heyward shoved each other before Heyward gut-punched Herbert.  

Despite the pretty notable punch, the Steelers player was given an unnecessary roughness penalty instead of being ejected. Speaking about the incident, Heyward told reporters, “To be honest, I was running after the ball, and I caught my hand under. So when I was trying to get back up, I couldn’t get up. And I fell on him.”

The Steelers player also admitted that he knows the footage looks bad, but there was nothing malicious about his actions. “I don’t think I was trying to punch him. But I know it looks worse than it is in slow motion. I’m sorry if I did anything to offend anybody.”

The Steelers player went on to add that he wished he had said more to Herbert after the incident but there was nothing behind his actions. The Pittsburgh team ended up losing the game  41-37.

Twitter Reacts to Steelers Heyward’s Gut-Punching Moment 

After the gut-punching incident on the field during the Steelers/Chargers matchup, Twitter users took to the social media platform to share their thoughts about the situation. One user even shared a video of the incident with the caption, “Explain to me what Cam Heyward is doing here.”

Twitter users debated on why Heyward wasn’t ejected from the game and also where Heyward actually hit Herbert. “Oh cmon man….he clearly intended to punch him,” one user declared. Another user added, “They flagged him, but he should’ve been ejected.”

Justin Herbert Reveals His Thoughts About What Happened on the Field 

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert also shared his thoughts about what happened on the field by stating the Steelers’ defensive end is just a tough player. “Football is an emotional game. Whatever happened, happened in the game. We’ll shake hands and say, ‘Good game,’ after the game.”

However, Chargers coach, Brandon Staley, doesn’t have the same reaction to the incident. “I think the truth will express itself from the video.”

Ian Rapoport, a national insider for the NFL Network, also sent a tweet on Monday (November 22nd) about what happened during the game. “Steelers DL Cam Heyward, who appeared to punch Chargers QB Justin Herbert late in last night’s game, will have his actions reviewed for a fine, not suspension, source said.”

More From Outsider