One of the players in a party I DM is an Eldritch Knight and he uses "Protection " in every single battle. Here's what Protection is:
When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. You must be wielding a shield.
The level 1 and then 2 Eldritch Knight is using Protection everywhere and claims that even if a creature does not provoke an attack of opportunity, such as the flying snakes he and the others in his party were nearly killed by yesterday, he still gets a reaction attack against them whenever they're nearby, flying past.
Furthermore, since he is always sitting in his Protection stance in the middle of the party during battles and was doing so yesterday during the snake attack, every single time a flying snake fly by or attacked anyone else in the party, he felt certain he got to attack the snake. Several attacks in a round, some more than once or a snake, once flying one way, once flying back. I, the DM, said that was unreasonable. He responded in a very upset manner and said that it was of no use unless that was how it worked.
Then another player pulled up the DND Beyond app, read the definition of Protection out loud in a way that made it sound as though that was the interpretation. Feeling uncertain and ganged up on, I called a break.
Again, the definition of Protection is below, but consider the definition below, from Dnd beyond, read outloud at a gaming table replacing "you can use your reaction to impose Disadvantage" with "you can use a reaction and impose Disadvantage" instead.
So, what do you say? Does Protection give Eldritch Knights reaction attacks against creatures that pass close? Even those that don't provoke attacks of opportunity? And isn't there a limit in there to how many attacks a "Protector" has? Because I think maybe he doesn't get any actual attacks of his own, but rather, just causes the enemy to attack at a disadvantage. But maybe I'm reading this wrong?