Eric Reid wasn’t on the field for all of the Panthers’ 52-21 loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Thursday night. The Carolina safety was excused in the third quarter for his hit on a sliding Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Reid told reporters after the game he was not head-hunting and, in fact, didn’t even consider Roethlisberger a quarterback as he brought his shoulder near Big Ben’s head.
“It was a bang-bang play,” Reid said, per ESPN.com. “He was scrambling and I’m just trying to do my job: tackle the person carrying the ball.
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“I understand the NFL is trying to protect quarterbacks, but when they’re running the ball they’re running backs. I’m not thinking, ‘Oh, it’s Ben; don’t tackle him.’ There’s a guy running with the ball, so I’m doing my job.”
Reid’s hit caused a brief scuffle as some of Roethlisberger’s teammates, notably guard David DeCastro, confronted Reid.
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Big Ben was far more forgiving:
Great moment of sportsmanship between Eric Reid and Big Ben. ? pic.twitter.com/2ARcHKovzk
Ben Roethlisberger said Eric Reid told him he was sorry and had no ill intent on the late-third-quarter hit that got him ejected. pic.twitter.com/JyFiJwpPYf
Reid’s ejection did anger viewers who thought Steelers pass-rusher T.J. Watt should have been penalized and/or ejected for hitting Panthers QB Cam Newton in Newton’s throwing shoulder with the crown of his helmet.
Umm @NFL ? There was no flag/ejection of @_TJWatt for lowering his helmet on this hit on @CameronNewton of the @Panthers but…Eric Reid was ejected ? Seems like a weak ass double standard. There has to be at least a fine for this… pic.twitter.com/YJCHdixHPM
Newton has a well-documented history of taking unpenalized hits to the head and upper body during scrambles and designed runs.
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