The Houston Texans must travel the rest of the way without linebacker Brian Cushing, who's out for the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament during Monday night's 23-17 victory over the New York Jets.
Cushing, the Texans' most valuable player from a season ago, was injured on a chop block by Jets guard Matt Slauson. The play has generated controversy, along with a discussion about the legality of low blocks in a league that's hyper-focused on player safety. The NFL also is looking into whether or not to levy a fine on Slauson.
"Do I have a take on it?" Phillips told the team's official website Thursday. "Yeah, I probably shouldn't say. I thought it was unnecessary. 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, when he doesn't see you.
"If a guy's coming in front of me and cuts me, yeah, he can see that and they can get away from that. But when they don't see you, I think the league needs to look at something like that. He was defenseless in that case. If the guy would've hit him in the head, it would've been a penalty because he came from the backside. So I just think they need to take a look at it."
Phillips said he doesn't agree with theories the NFL only cares about protecting players on offense, but we aren't likely to hear his real feelings on the matter. He did express hope that Cushing's injury might raise awareness to the rules protecting defenseless players.
UPDATE: The NFL fined Slauson $10,000 for his block, Fox Sports insider and NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer reported later Thursday.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.