Germaine Pratt was visibly upset at the end of the Bengals’ heartbreaking 23-20 loss to the Chiefs in the 2023 AFC championship game.
Pratt voiced his frustration with the defeat as he made his way back to the locker room, and he seemed to be bothered by one thing in particular about the loss: Joseph Ossai’s last-minute personal foul penalty.
“Why the f— would you touch the quarterback?” Pratt yelled to nobody in particular, as captured by Spectrum News 1 OH’s Katie Kapusta.
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Ossai was called for a 15-yard personal foul with just eight seconds left in regulation after he hit Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes out of bounds following a short scramble by the hobbled quarterback.
The penalty put the Chiefs in range for a 45-yard field goal attempt, which Harrison Butker made with just three seconds remaining in regulation.
As such, it’s easy to understand Pratt’s visceral reaction after the loss. He was frustrated by the loss, and he now faces an uncertain future as he prepares to become a free agent for the first time in his career.
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Too, if Ossai had avoided the penalty, the Chiefs would have been harder-pressed to work into range for a makeable field goal. Kansas City had no timeouts remaining, so it would have needed to work the sideline to have any chance of setting up a potential game-winning.
Of course, nobody knew this more than Ossai. The second-year player was devastated following the loss and was seen crying on camera as he lingered on the bench.
That’s part of the reason that the entire Bengals locker room offered their support of Ossai after the contest.
“There were a lot of plays other than that that could have turned the tide in that game and won us that game,” quarterback Joe Burrow told reporters. “So that’s not the only one.”
“It’s not on him,” Ossai’s defensive teammate Cam Taylor-Britt said. “When you’re going that fast you just don’t know. We got a lot of crazy calls at the end.”
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Ossai was appreciative of this support and expressed that after the game.
“It means the world to me,” he said. “These guys mean a lot to me. We come every day and we work hard for each other, and to know that they have my back — it’s giving me peace right now.”