We have our first ejection of the 2018 season, and unfortunately, it involves Bengals safety Shawn Williams.
The starting safety was tossed out of the Bengals’ Week 1 matchup with the Colts for an illegal hit on quarterback Andrew Luck. It happened on a third-down run by Luck, and as he was starting to slide, Williams launched right into Luck.
Initially, the referees only flagged Williams for unnecessary roughness. But after making the call, the referees gathered and decided to eject Williams from the game. The league office also weighed in.
While it’s unfortunate, it was a textbook definition of why this rule is in place. It was a very unnecessary play that Williams deserved to be ejected for, so this was a good call by the officials.
The officials actually said this wasn’t due to the NFL’s new helmet rules, though it seems like it could have been. The Bengals’ safety depth is now going to be tested hard in Indianapolis. The Bengals have rookie safety Jessie Bates starting alongside Williams and now it’ll be Clayton Fejedelem and Brandon Wilson picking up the slack.