Joseph Ossai’s harshest critic from the AFC Championship loss was none other than his own teammate. Germaine Pratt has since apologized for his outburst.
Joseph Ossai’s harshest critic from Sunday night’s AFC Championship loss to the Kansas City Chiefs was none other than his own Cincinnati Bengals teammate, Germaine Pratt. After a few days of reflection, Pratt has apologized for his violent outburst.
Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt went viral earlier this week for his hostile reaction to his teammate’s blunder at the end of the AFC Championship game.
It’s never a good look when your teammate curses you out on camera, and Pratt recognized his mistake and issued a statement admitting he was in the wrong:
"“I was in the moment. I was wrong. I would say I was wrong. As a man, you can look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I was wrong.’ I wasn’t a great teammate in that moment. That doesn’t define me as a man.”"
A behind-the-scenes video showed Pratt walking to the locker room after his team was defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs, 23-20. Visibly upset and frustrated, Pratt yelled, “Why would you touch the f—ing quarterback?,” referencing Joseph Ossai’s careless penalty at the end of the fourth quarter in which he shoved Patrick Mahomes when Mahomes was already out of bounds.
Ossai was flagged for unnecessary roughness, leading to an automatic 15-yard gain for the Chiefs that put Kansas City in prime field goal position. With three seconds remaining, Harrison Butker then kicked the game-winning 45-yarder to send the Bengals packing.
Bengals’ Germaine Pratt regrets blowing up at Joseph Ossai after AFC Championship loss
While the rest of the NFL world came together in support of Ossai, who was seen crying on the sidelines, Pratt was one of the only ones who reacted in such a hostile and negative way.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor defended Ossai, claiming the game didn’t come down to that one play, and defensive tackle B.J. Hill acted extra-protective of Ossai in the locker room when the media came for questions.
Pratt is set to become a free agent this offseason, yet his recent antics probably won’t factor into whether he will be extended by the Bengals as it does indeed seem like a one-time incident.
The 2019 third-round pick had put together a solid 2022 season for Cincinnati in which he recorded 99 tackles, 10 passes defended, and one sack in 15 games. In the AFC Championship, he recorded a team-high seven tackles and looked like one of the team’s most reliable defenders out there.
Pratt was likely just feeling the heat of the moment after a tough playoff defeat, and he has otherwise behaved as an upstanding teammate for the past four years in Cincy.
One emotional outburst shouldn’t ruin his career, just as Ossai’s costly penalty doesn’t make him any less than.