Carolina quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was briefly knocked out of the Panthers’ Thursday game after a play that saw the ejection of Atlanta Falcons defensive end Charles Harris.
Late in the third quarter at Charlotte, N.C., Bridgewater was looking to pass when he was tripped by Falcons defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., who stuck a leg in front of a charging Bridgewater. Once the quarterback went to the ground, Harris hit him in the head and neck.
Flags were thrown against both Fowler and Harris, and the officials ejected Harris.
Bridgewater missed the remainder of that drive, which resulted in a field goal, and the start of the next drive before returning to action with 9:45 left in the fourth quarter.
Bridgewater said of the play on which he was injured, “I was stepping up in the pocket. I just knew that someone stuck their leg out from Atlanta. As I was tripped, I was just stumbling. I knew at some point guys would be swarming, so I just tried to get down, protect myself.
“I don’t really know who hit me. Just know that someone got ejected. I was in the (injury) tent when that happened.”
Asked if he thought it was a cheap shot, Bridgewater said, “I’ll probably go back and watch what happened. I really can’t answer that.”
Carolina running back Mike Davis said, “I thought it was a cheap shot. It was late, hit him on the neck. You hate to see that.”
Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris said of Harris’ ejection, “I know he ran up on him. I know he hit him. I’m not sure he made full contact with his head, but the officials saw it that way and so did New York. You have to deal with it. Get him off the field and you keep playing and you finish the game.”
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said of Bridgewater’s delayed return to the game, “He was trying to get his neck to loosen up, and finally when it did, he went back in the game.”
The Falcons (2-6) earned a 25-17 win over the Panthers (3-5).
–Field Level Media