Last night, the Carolina Panthers traveled to Pennsylvania to take on the Steelers in Pittsburg. Unfortunately, for the Panthers, the Steelers dominated the game on both sides of the ball resulting in a 52-21 win for the AFC North football squad. However, the Steelers performance was not the talk of the Thursday Night Football game showdown.
In the third quarter, safety Eric Reid, took a shot at a sliding Ben Roethlisberger inside the 15-yard line causing flags to be instantaneously thrown and a scuffle between the football squads led by Steelers’ offensive lineman, David DeCastro who didn’t appreciate the hit on his team’s quarterback.
After both teams separated, Reid apologetically approached Roethlisberger and ensured that the two-time NFL Super Bowl champion wasn’t injured. The officials gathered and announced the obvious unnecessary roughness penalty but, then decided to eject the safety in conjunction with his penalty flag.
Of course, as spectators and enthusiasts, we believe the NFL and its referees should protect the quarterback at all cost and Reid’s hit on Roethlisberger was obviously illegal and worthy of being penalized for. But, was it worth an ejection by the officiating crew?
Eric Reid’s Intent Regards to the Roethlisberger Hit
It’s nearly impossible to tell whether or not if Eric Reid intentionally wanted to make contact with Ben Roethlisberger’s head on the third-quarter scrambling play. What we do know is that Reid didn’t lead with his helmet, his shoulder pad made contact with Big Ben’s helmet, and he showed good sportsmanship following his ejection approaching Roethlisberger and apparently apologizing for the hit.
Throughout the first ten weeks of the NFL season, we’ve some rather questionable and brutal hits on quarterbacks that did lead to ejections for the defensive players delivering the tackle.
Demontae Kazee’s Hit on Cam Newton
For instance, back in week two of the NFL season, Atlanta Falcons’ safety, Damontae Kazee hit a sliding Cam Newton directly in the face mask of with his own helmet early in the second quarter of the game. The hit left Newton writhing in pain on the ground, obviously injured, as a brawl between the two teams broke out. The officiating crew made the right decision to eject the safety for intentionally leading with his helmet ultimately injuring Panthers’ quarterback, Cam Newton.
Shaun Williams’ Hit on Andrew Luck
Another example of an ejectable hit came week one when the Cincinnati Bengals took on the Indianapolis Colts. Bengals’ safety, Shawn Williams‘ hit Colts’ quarterback, Andrew Luck, late with a lowered shoulder pad to the helmet as Luck slid scrambling for a first down. Luck popped back up quickly but Williams’ body language and demeanor did not read as someone who was apologetic for their actions resulting in his ejection.
These are just two examples of late hits on quarterbacks that led to ejections this season in the NFL. Now, going back to Eric Reid’s hit on Roethlisberger, it didn’t appear that Reid was aiming for the Steelers’ quarterback’s head and it was completely accidental. Watching the play both in slow motion and regular motion, we’re still unsure if the hit was worthy of an ejection.
Brian Finneran’s Comments on Eric Reid’s Ejection
Former Atlanta Falcons’ wide receiver, Brian Finneran, shared his thoughts on Twitter about Eric Reid’s ejection, stating that he ‘can go take a knee in the locker room.’ The Tweet received mixed responses but definitely was a dig at Reid’s silent protest he continues to uphold. Causing some sports fans to wonder, if it were anyone else on the Carolina Panthers’ defense to deliver that hit, would they have been ejected from the game?
With all that said, we’ll leave this one up to you, do you think Eric Reid’s third-quarter hit on Ben Roethlisberger worthy of an ejection? Let us know in the comment section below.