Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Vernon Hargreaves was inactive for Super Bowl 56, but he still picked up a penalty on a costly mistake.
The Cincinnati Bengals were down 13-3 in the first half of Super Bowl 56, but the momentum shifted in their favor after running back Joe Mixon threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver. Said momentum continued when safety Jessie Bates picked off Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford in the end zone on a pass intended for wide receiver Van Jefferson.
That play helped give the Bengals the ball on the 20-yard line, until a penalty flag was thrown. The penalty was for unsportsmanlike conduct after cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, who was inactive for Super Bowl 56, ran on the field in a sweatshirt, shorts and flip-flops to celebrate the interception. That resulted in Cincinnati losing 10-yards on their next possession.
Vernon Hargreaves dumb mistake gave Bengals costly penalty
“He may be inactive for a while after this scene,” said NBC play-by-play commentator Al Michaels.
While the Bengals did get a first down on two plays, they ultimately had to punt the ball back to the Rams after six plays. Luckily, the Rams went three-and-out, punted the ball back to Cincinnati, who kneeled it down to enter the locker room for halftime.
Hargreaves is a former first-round selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 2016. He spent three-plus seasons with the team before he was traded to the Houston Texans midway through the 2019 campaign. Houston waived Hargreaves and was claimed by the Bengals in early November.
Through four games with the Bengals (one start), Hargreaves recorded five combined tackles. In coverage, Hargreaves surrendered four receptions for 33 yards on five targets, per Pro Football Reference.
Hargreaves had his Super Bowl moment, but not for the right reasons.