He just wanted to cover his neck

This is a mash up of “cover his butt (ass)” (make excuses or otherwise take action to avoid being blamed) and “don’t stick your neck out” (avoid risk).  This malaphor was said by a person describing his physician and the excessive treatment given.  I think it also applies to Congress lately…. A tip of the hat to JoErin O’Leary for sending this one in!