Panthers S Eric Reid explains late hit on Benjamin Watson

Ryan Hannable
August 23, 2019 - 12:23 am

FOXBOROUGH -- There really was no place for what Panthers safety Eric Reid did, especially in the preseason.

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In the first quarter of Thursday's preseason game against the Patriots, tight end Benjamin Watson made a catch along the sideline and was tackled to the ground, but Reid came from his safety spot and delivered a late hit on the 38-year-old.

The hit knocked him from the game, but also drew a 15-yard penalty.

"Just trying to stop him from getting a first down," Reid said afterwards. "I looked at the replay. Yeah, he was down. We'll see what the league decides to do with it. I anticipate myself getting a fine. But I'm just playing the game."

Reid tried helping Watson up, but the veteran needed attention from the Patriots training staff. Tom Brady was visbily upset with the hit, speaking to one of the officials for several minutes while Watson was down.

"I just asked him if he was OK, if he could stand up," Reid said. "You hate to see somebody get hurt."

Almost immediately after the play happened, a tweet from earlier in the week was surfaced of Watson calling out Reid for being against the Players Coalition

"I didn't even know he tweeted me," Reid said. "That's not even something you process in a game. I'm not analyzing who has the ball in their hand and what they tweeted at me while I'm playing the game."

Watson's condition is unclear, but it is worth noting he's suspended the first four games of the season for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy.

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