With less than two minutes remaining in Sunday’s game at Tampa, San Francisco 49ers rookie safety Eric Reid intercepted a Mike Glennon pass and had blockers in front of him for a chance to score his first NFL touchdown.
Instead, he gave himself up and the 49ers ran out the clock on their 33-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A 21st century professional athlete giving up a chance at personal glory? Turning the potential for a spectacular highlight into just another play on the stat sheet?
Yes and yes.
If Reid scores, the defense has to go right back out on the field with the Bucs still in desperation mode. That means more chances for someone to get hurt, more chances for something else to go wrong.
So Reid made the smart play, the right play.
Instead of taking a chance on having to play more meaningful football, Reid just made sure the game was over and the 49ers could fly home with the victory.
He did his job. So why is it a big deal? Because it just seems like that sort of play is more rare than it used to be. The temptation to try and grab a moment on SportsCenter proves to be too great for some players.
“We’re going into the end of the year and we wanted to preserve our bodies and let’s go home,” Reid told CSNBayArea.com.
It’s great when players just get it. It’s even more encouraging when that player is just a rookie. It bodes well for the future.
It was Reid’s fourth interception of the season, tying him with Tramaine Brock for the club lead. He is also tied for third on the team with 64 tackles and is third with 10 passes defensed.