Eric Reid says hit on Ben Watson wasn’t personal

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Panthers safety Eric Reid‘s hit on Patriots tight end Ben Watson was the kind that will likely draw a fine.

But whatever the outcome, Reid said the intent wasn’t personal, after Watson rebuked him on Twitter last week for his stance on the league’s partnership with Jay-Z.

I didn’t even know he tweeted me,” Reid said, via Nick Goss of “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.”

Reid was penalized for unnecessary roughness for the hit, in which he hit Watson in the head with his shoulder, after Watson was down. Reid said coach Ron Rivera told him the hit was late, and that he anticipated a fine from the league. Reid appeared to say something to Watson on the field before Watson left the game, but Reid said he was simply checking on his opponent.

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

Regardless the intent, Reid clearly plays a physical style and has been involved in a number of questionable hits in recent years. But from his perspective, disagreements about activism had nothing to do with what happened last night.