Panthers safety Eric Reid was ejected after a third-quarter late hit on Ben Roethlisberger during Thursday night's 52-21 smackdown at the hands of the Steelers. Reid was surprised, but not for why you might think: He didn't even know that was possible.
Here's the hit in question and the ref's reasoning for the ejection:
"I didn’t even know you could be ejected," Reid said after the game. "The referees told me I was targeting him, which I disagree with."
Reid's coach, Ron Rivera, agreed. "I don’t think that was warranted, I really don’t. I don’t think he hit him hard enough to eject him," Rivera said. "They are trying to protect the quarterbacks, and he was high."
Despite the scuffle that followed the hit and the ensuing ejection, Reid gave Roethlisberger some dap before being escorted off the field.
"I told him I didn’t intend to hurt him by any means," Reid said after the game. "I just said no hard feelings. He said there were no hard feelings."
Like his coach, he defended what he did on the play as a necessary part of his role as the team's safety. "These plays happen so fast. My job is to tackle that guy. I was simply doing my job. It was a bang-bang play."
After the game, the NFL tested Reid for PEDs. Reid says it's the fifth time he's been tested since the Panthers signed him.
Because Reid has joined Colin Kaepernick in suing the NFL for collusion to prevent him from working over his activism to call attention to police brutality against minorities, some NFL analysts have called Reid's continuing PED testing something more than a coincidence.
Here's the NFL's response to the implication of bias in their PED testing: