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Panthers Safety Eric Reid Being Accused Of A Dirty Hit On Ben Watson

Eric Reid playing for the Carolina Panthers.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - AUGUST 16: Eric Reid #25 of the Carolina Panthers against the Buffalo Bills during the first half of their game at Bank of America Stadium on August 16, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

A preseason game between the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots took a rather controversial turn on Thursday night. Panthers safety Eric Reid hit Patriots tight end Ben Watson a little late on a tackle, and it's causing some controversy.

On the play in question, Watson caught a pass in the flat and was quickly tackled by a pair of Panthers defenders. But despite rolling to the ground, Reid lowered his shoulder and hit Watson in the head.

Watson struggled to get up after being struck and needed to be helped up. His helmet was taken away, presumably so he could undergo the concussion protocol.

Footage also shows that Reid went over to Watson while he was on the ground - seemingly to apologize.

The play has quickly garnered a lot of angry responses on Twitter and social media. Many have deemed the hit dirty. Watson and Reid had a disagreement on social media earlier this week, prompting some to believe Reid may have been targeting the Patriots tight end.

Others, however, were not convinced it was intentional:

But even from multiple angles, it's hard to say definitively whether it was intentional targeting or a bang-bang play.

It remains to be seen if the NFL will decide to punish Reid for the hit. The league has certainly dealt out punishment for less egregious plays.