Panthers safety Eric Reid does not shy away from public attention. The Panthers safety, who finally returned to the NFL after remaining unsigned for the first quarter of the season, is currently suing the NFL having filed a grievance against the league claiming he's unsigned because teams colluded against him after he joined Colin Kaepernick in protesting during the national anthem.
He promised he would not stick to sports when he returned to the NFL, but the attention he garnered in Week 10 was very much on the field, with Reid getting ejected from the Panthers blowout loss to the Steelers after a clear targeting attempt towards Ben Roethlisberger.
After the game, Reid drew headlines for claiming that he has been drug tested five times -- five times! -- since he signed with the Panthers.
"This is like the fifth time since I've been here," Reid said. "They're not going to catch me on anything."
Reid signed with Carolina in late September and Thursday night was his sixth game with the team, meaning he's getting tested after roughly 80 percent of the games he's played in.
Worth noting here: Reid said "like the fifth time," so maybe it's just four? Either way, it seems as if he's been tested plenty by the league following Panthers games.
The league, for its part, pointed out that Reid being tested is not abnormal nor is it a targeted approach. Brian McCarthy of the league office tweeted that there's a computer program randomly selecting 10 players per team after each game.
Re: PED testing: 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 https://t.co/jhCO33pfzU— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) November 9, 2018
Of course, it's likely that Reid didn't know that, since he also didn't know he could be ejected from an NFL game. Although considering how the ejection happened -- Reid was flagged by the refs for the hit on Roethlisberger, then they huddled up and heard from the league office, which decided to eject Reid -- maybe he was simply pointing out that he felt unfairly targeted by the league.
Ron Rivera did not agree with the call and Reid probably didn't either.
RR on Eric Reid’s ejection: “I don’t think that was warranted. I don’t think he hit him hard enough.”— Bill Voth (@PanthersBill) November 9, 2018
Plenty of people disagreed with that stance though, and thought an ejection was indeed possible/likely/warranted.
Eric Reid with a full-blown head hunt there, yeesh— Nick Shook (@TheNickShook) November 9, 2018
Hey Eric Reid, you can't be diving at QB's heads, man. You just can't. Overhead view shows he was running from 10 yards away like a missile— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) November 9, 2018
That could easily get Eric Reid ejected or suspended. Drilled Roethlisberger in the head while he was sliding.— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) November 9, 2018
Maybe a different player gets a little bit of leeway on this -- even if you think the call was ejection-worthy, I guess it's possible the league doesn't make the call if the player involved isn't suing the league.
It's an unprovable situation for Reid, but you can bet he definitely believes the league is out to get him.