Pan­thers: Reid’s re­turn won’t be a dis­trac­tion

Stamford Advocate (Sunday) - - Nfl | Auto Racing -

CHAR­LOTTE, N.C. — Wide re­ceiver Tor­rey Smith chuck­led at the no­tion that Eric Reid‘s re­turn to the NFL this week might be a dis­trac­tion for the Carolina Pan­thers on Sun­day when they host the New York Gi­ants.

Smith said Reid’s stance on racial in­jus­tice hasn’t been an is­sue in the locker room, adding that “no one cares” if he kneels or not dur­ing the na­tional an­them.

He said Reid’s new team­mates are more ea­ger to see what he does on the field rather than what he does be­fore the game.

“It’s not like he’s out there and coach calls ‘Cover 3’ and he’s go­ing to take a knee and let a guy run by him. If that was the is­sue, it would be a prob­lem,” Smith said with a laugh. “But that’s not the way it works. Eric knows what is best for Eric and we all know what he is fight­ing for.”

Reid, who knelt along­side Colin Kaeper­nick in San Fran­cisco dur­ing the na­tional an­them to bring at­ten­tion to racial and so­cial in­jus­tice, hasn’t said if he will demon­strate Sun­day in his first game since fil­ing a col­lu­sion griev­ance against the NFL al­leg­ing that teams wouldn’t sign him be­cause of his protest­ing.

Re­gard­less of Reid’s be­liefs, the Pan­thers (2-1) are ex­cited to have the 2013 Pro Bowler, who is ex­pected to start at safety af­ter Da’Nor­ris Searcy was placed on in­jured re­serve last week with a con­cus­sion. Cam New­ton said the Pan­thers “got a steal” when they signed the 26-year-old Reid.

“He’s a great player,” New­ton said. “We’ve ac­cepted him with open arms. We know he’s go­ing to be an im­pact player for us, and that’s all I care about.”

Reid, who is AfricanAmer­i­can, said af­ter sign­ing a one-year con­tract with Carolina that he plans to “con­tinue to speak for my peo­ple” and use his plat­form to talk about in­jus­tices.

Things to watch in Sun­day’s game:

ON THE RUN

Gi­ants coach Pat Shur­mur ad­mit­tedly didn’t use rookie Saquon Barkley enough in the loss to the Saints last week­end. The run­ning game was lim­ited to 65 yards on 15 car­ries. Barkley had 44 yards on 10 car­ries, with 28 com­ing on a sprint around end. New York usu­ally doesn’t win un­less it can es­tab­lish some kind of run game to set up the play-ac­tion pass. Ex­pect Barkley to ei­ther dou­ble his car­ries this week or have backup Wayne Gall­man carry more than twice. The Pan­thers are al­low­ing 110 yards per game on the ground.

Jonathan Stew­art, Carolina’s all-time lead­ing rusher, was placed on in­jured re­serve last week by New York.

VER­NON’S BACK

The Gi­ants are op­ti­mistic that out­side line­backer Olivier Ver­non will see his first ac­tion of the sea­son af­ter a strong week of prac­tice. Shur­mur thinks that could give the de­fense a boost, say­ing “when you have a fresh body that has the tal­ent, the skill and abil­i­ties of a pass rusher, it helps your de­fense. Cer­tainly adding him back to the mix will help.”

Marcio Jose Sanchez / As­so­ci­ated Press

In this Sept. 10, 2017, file photo, then- 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) kneels in front of team­mates dur­ing the play­ing of the na­tional an­them be­fore a game.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.