Panthers Coach Ron Rivera to Discuss Eric Reid's Targeting Ejection with NFL

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2018

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is hit by Carolina Panthers strong safety Eric Reid (25) as he slides at the end of a run during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Reid was ejected. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid was ejected for targeting during Thursday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Panthers coach Ron Rivera wants an explanation.

Reid was flagged and thrown out in the third quarter of the 52-21 loss for attempting to tackle Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as he was sliding.

"I'm not in agreeance with what the decision was [on the ejection]," Rivera told reporters Friday. "I get the penalty. I don't get the ejection. I'm going to ask for an explanation as far as that's concerned."

NFL Officiating took to Twitter on Thursday night to explain the ruling:

NFL Officiating @NFLOfficiating

“@Panthers Eric Reid was ejected for unnecessary roughness for forcible contact to the head and neck area of a sliding quarterback in #CARvsPIT.” – AL https://t.co/1MbDzjkrLK

That explanation apparently doesn't suffice for Rivera.

Reid, meanwhile, said he didn't understand why he was ejected:

"I didn't even know you could be ejected in the NFL. It was a bang-bang play. I was trying to do my job. I understand the NFL is trying to protect the quarterback, but when they run the ball, they're a running back.

"There's a guy running the ball, so I'm doing my job. ... If anything, there should be more [focus] on getting down earlier, so it wouldn't have to be close. I'm running full speed. I'm just trying to do my job."

Adding to his frustration, Reid said he was being drug-tested after the game for the fifth time since signing with Carolina at the end of September: "This is like the fifth time since I've been here. They're not going to catch me on anything."

Rivera said he's "got no issues" with the league's drug-testing system.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy issued a statement on the matter Friday morning: "Each week during the season, 10 players per club will be tested. By means of a computer program, the policy's jointly appointed Independent Administrator randomly selects before the game players to be tested. Page 5 of NFL-NFLPA policy."

Reid filed a collusion lawsuit against the NFL in May. Asked if he believes that situation has impacted the way he is officiated, he didn't rule it out.

"It's interesting," Reid noted. "I get fined. I got an interception overturned. We'll see how this appeal here goes."

Now, both Rivera and Reid will wait to see if they hear anything from the league.


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