Last night, the Pittsburgh Steelers tore the Carolina Panthers apart. But it didn’t come without a little bit of controversy. When Roethlisberger took off to run at one point, safety Eric Reid would hit him late. Not only would it prompt a flag, but he would also be ejected.
?? Eric Reid. That was a dirty hit.pic.twitter.com/kRz9Xyf4we
— Gridiron (@Gridiron) November 9, 2018
Definitely a late, and definitely a flag in today’s NFL (which yes, it should be). After all, hitting players in the head is still hitting players in the head. And it’s quite clear from this clip that this qualifies as dangerous play. But before he left the field, Reid made sure to apologize to Roethlisberger — and they shared a moment.
Great moment of sportsmanship between Eric Reid and Big Ben. ? pic.twitter.com/2ARcHKovzk
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) November 9, 2018
For what it’s worth, Roethlisberger doesn’t believe Reid intended to hurt him. Though, it’s still understandable as to why his teammates were quick to come to his defense.
“However, after the game, Roethlisberger said Reid was apologetic. Asked what he said, Big Ben replied: ‘Sorry. Didn’t mean it.’ No intent there,'” writes USA Today’s Nate Davis.
Reid’s head coach Ron Rivera also didn’t see enough to justify the ejection.
“I don’t think he hit him hard enough to eject him,” Rivera told reporters following the game. “You saw Ben Roethlisberger’s reaction, as well. So, it led me to believe that he didn’t hit Ben as hard as I think they thought he did.”
Of course, this could just be coach speak. More often than not, the coach is going to come to the defense of his players. What’s done is done, though. The Steelers would ultimate win 52-21 at home on Thursday night. And Roethlisberger did his part, putting up a perfect passer rating while completing nearly 90% of his passes for 328 yards and five touchdowns. Now the Steelers are 6-2-1, and everything is clicking.
That said, do you think Reid was trying to hurt Big Ben?