Panthers coach Ron Rivera to ask NFL about Eric Reid's ejection

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera plans to ask the NFL to explain why free safety Eric Reid was ejected for a shoulder-to-helmet hit on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the third quarter of Thursday night's 52-21 loss.

Rivera, however, doesn't plan to ask the league about Reid's claim after the game to the Charlotte Observer that he was drug tested for "like the fifth time" since he was signed by Carolina in late September.

"They're not going to catch me on anything," said Reid, who in May filed a grievance against the NFL in which he claimed there was collusion to keep him unemployed because of his protests against social injustice during the national anthem while with the San Francisco 49ers.

Rivera said the drug testing was not a concern.

"I've got no issues on that," Rivera said Friday. "That has nothing to do with what I have to deal with. I'm not in agreeance with what the decision was [on the ejection]. I get the penalty. I don't get the ejection. I'm going to ask for an explanation as far as that's concerned."

The league does not administer drug tests or select those to be tested. That is done by an independent administrator.

League spokesman Brian McCarthy posted the policy on Twitter on Friday after multiple inquiries following Reid's comments.

"Each week during the season, 10 players per club will be tested," the policy says. "By means of a computer program, the policy's jointly appointed Independent Administrator randomly selects before the game players to be tested."

The league also has the right to eject a player in its effort to protect the quarterback and crack down on head injuries.

After hitting Roethlisberger at the end of a scramble, Reid was flagged for unnecessary roughness due to forcible contact to the head and neck area of a sliding quarterback.

Reid, who was subsequently disqualified from the game, said that he had no intention to hurt Roethlisberger and that he apologized to him afterward.

He agreed with Rivera that the ejection was not warranted.

But Reid seemed to take exception with again being drug tested as he took exception to being fined $10,026 by the league for his unsportsmanlike penalty during a 21-17 victory over Philadelphia.

Reid noted that Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, who also was handed an unsportsmanlike penalty on the play after throwing Reid to the ground, did not get fined.

Reid also had an interception overturned in the final minutes that he felt was not justified.

Asked then whether he felt he was being slighted because of his collusion grievance, Reid said, "It's interesting. I get fined. I got an interception overturned. We'll see how this appeal here goes."

Reid was the first player to join then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the anthem to protest social injustice. Kaepernick, who also filed a grievance against the league, remains unsigned.