Why was Eric Reid ejected for his hit on Ben Roethlisberger?

The Carolina Panthers will finish their Thursday Night Football matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers without Eric Reid after the safety was ejected.

Reid was sent to the locker room after he hit Ben Roethlisberger in the helmet while the Steelers quarterback was attempting to slide. Replays showed Reid’s shoulder made contact with Roethlisberger’s helmet as he flew over the top of the quarterback. After a brief discussion, officials decided to disqualify Reid for the remainder of the game.

The league quickly explained the decision to eject Reid on Twitter, which included video of the hit:

The penalty for hitting a sliding quarterback — especially in the head — isn’t new. But an increased emphasis in 2018 on punishing that kind of play is likely the reason Reid was ejected, in addition to penalized.

After the hit, there were several Steelers offensive linemen who came to Roethlisberger’s defense, causing plenty of pushing and shoving between the two teams. Reid and Roethlisberger buried the hatchet quickly, though.

Following the Steelers’ 52-21 win, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he disagreed with the refs:

Earlier in 2018, Reid got into a scrap with the Eagles due to his contentious relationship with Malcolm Jenkins, as well as a late hit on Carson Wentz that started a scrap:

Reid was fined $10,026 for the play and will likely be hearing from the league office again after his hit on Roethlisberger.

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