PITTSBURGH — Carolina Panthers free safety Eric Reid was ejected in the third quarter of Thursday night’s game for a hit on the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ Ben Roethlisberger as the quarterback was sliding at the end of a 17-yard scramble.
Reid lowered his head with Roethlisberger already well into his slide and then delivered shoulder-to-helmet contact to the six-time Pro Bowl selection.
Reid was ejected for unnecessary roughness for “forcible contact to the head and neck area of a sliding quarterback.”
The play came with 1:03 left in the third quarter and the Steelers driving for a touchdown that would make it 45-14.
The Panthers in late September became the first team to take a chance on Reid, who filed a collusion grievance against the NFL when no team would sign him after he spent last season with the San Francisco 49ers. Reid said the league colluded to keep him off a roster after he spent the previous season kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustice.
He has continued to kneel during the anthem at Carolina and has not dropped the grievance.
New Panthers owner David Tepper, who had not addressed the decision to sign Reid until prior to Thursday’s game, was asked whether he had to give approval first.
“What did I say when I first came here?” Tepper said. “I said the first thing I want to do is? … Win. What was the second thing I said I wanted to do? That was also win. What was the third thing I wanted to do? Enough said.”