It’s not typically a good sign when a preseason hit becomes a topic of conversation.
But here we are, two days later, and Eric Reid’s shot to Benjamin Watson’s head still remains notable.
During the New England Patriots’ Week 3 preseason win over Reid’s Carolina Panthers, Watson received a pass, and after making a move was brought down. After Watson hit the ground, Reid dove and put his shoulder into the tight end’s head. Reid did approach Watson right after the hit and help him up.
Watson was placed in the concussion protocol and Reid after the game said it wasn’t deliberate. However, the hit came mere days after some Twitter beef between the two players after Reid took aim at the Players Coalition, of which Watson is part of.
The hit was a talking point on shows across the country Friday, and former Patriots linebacker James Harrison was among those that weighed in. Harrison indicated on FOX Sports 1’s “Speak For Yourself” that he thought the hit was intentional.
“I think it was on purpose and the only reason I think it was on purpose is if you look at this play, right at the end, the kick (means) I’m trying to get more force into you than I need to,” Harrison said. “See that little kick at the end? I’m trying to drive my shoulder into you because I know it’s you. ‘I don’t recognize who has the ball,’ all that, that’s bull. I know it’s you, I see it’s you. You know what? Here’s my opportunity. What you said, I’m going to give it to you. If it wasn’t for the little kick at the end to drive your shoulder deep into his head, I would’ve said it was an accident, he didn’t mean it, he just dived in there late, even though you can already see the dude is on the ground before he even comes to get into the contact. Definitely, I believe it was on purpose.”
Watson, 38, came out of retirement to play another year with the Patriots. He’s suspended for the first four games of the regular season, so he’s not eligible to play until Week 5.