Eric Reid on ejection: I hit 'running back' Ben Roethlisberger

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:


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.

Newton has a well-documented history of taking unpenalized hits to the head and upper body during scrambles and designed runs.