Bengals teammate comes to defense of Joseph Ossai in heartwarming display of sportsmanship

Joseph Ossai, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Joseph Ossai, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

One of Joseph Ossai’s teammates came to his defense at his locker during media availability after a controversial penalty contributed to the Bengals losing.

On Sunday night, Joseph Ossai was flagged for a controversial roughing the passer penalty that allowed the Kansas City Chiefs to extend their drive and set up for a game-winning field goal that advanced the Chiefs to the Super Bowl and ended the Bengals season.

Understandably, some put the blame on Ossai, including himself, who was visibly upset on the bench and then during media availability, especially as reporters were asking for his thoughts on the incident.

At the time of the penalty, the game was tied and certainly within reach, though it’s hard to feel too comfortable when Patrick Mahomes has the ball in his hands late in the game.

BJ Hill supported Bengals teammate Joseph Ossai in the best way possible Sunday night

“Dumb question, come on. He played his butt off the whole game, ask a different question,” BJ Hill stepped in and said when a reporter asked Ossai about the incident.

“Like I said, it was great knowing I had the support of my teammates,” Ossai said. He would continue, saying, “I gotta learn from experience. I gotta know not to get close to that quarterback when he’s close to that sideline if it’s anything that could possibly cause a penalty in a dire situation like that, I gotta do better.”

Zac Taylor was incredibly forgiving to Ossai in his postgame press conference, and Ossai said it was no different in private.

“[Taylor] just told me to keep my head up. He told me there was a bunch of different plays we had to make, that it didn’t come down to that one.”

Taylor is right. While Ossai’s mistake was right out in front of view because of when it happened, that doesn’t mean the loss falls squarely on his shoulders.

He said his teammates had been supportive, too, even if that didn’t appear to be entirely true based on reactions from players as they exited the field of play.

But as Ossai was talking to reporters, Hill didn’t leave. He stood there, like a bouncer, dissuading reporters from pushing too far on the raw emotional state Ossai was clearly in. He served as the filter for what he perceived to be bad questions during the session.

A reporter asked, “how hard is that to kinda maybe not put all that weight on you as you go through all this?

“What? Come on, man,” Hill said with a look of disgust on his face.

“I’m sure it’s tough, the reporter said. “Ask a better question, bro, come on,” Hill responded.

Hill has been in the league since 2018, well-versed in how to handle the intense media focus that comes with the job. Ossai, drafted in 2021, has dealt with just a fraction of that so far.

It was a great, wholesome gesture for Hill to step in and support his teammate without completely shutting reporters down.

Next. 3 Cincinnati Bengals who won’t be back next season and why. dark