‘I wasn’t a fantastic teammate’

Germaine Pratt stated what loads of Bengals followers have been pondering after Cincinnati’s AFC championship loss to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs.

He did so at his teammate Joseph Ossai’s expense. On Monday, he apologized.

“I used to be emotional,” Pratt stated. “I used to be within the second. I used to be fallacious. I might say I used to be fallacious. As a person, you possibly can have a look at your self within the mirror and say ‘I used to be fallacious. I wasn’t a fantastic teammate within the second.’

“However that don’t outline me as a person.”

So why was Pratt apologizing? In case you missed it, the Bengals linebacker had some candid phrases focusing on Ossai within the aftermath of Sunday’s 23-20 loss.

Pratt’s uncooked response after powerful loss

The Chiefs secured victory on a 45-yard Harrison Butker discipline objective with 3 seconds remaining. Quarterback quarterback Patrick Mahomes scrambled for a primary down earlier than operating out of bounds on the play earlier than the kick. Ossai hit Mahomes late out of bounds, drawing a 15-yard pointless roughness penalty — a transparent infraction that officers couldn’t ignore.

With out the penalty, Butker would have confronted a significantly much less doubtless 60-yard try in frigid Kansas Metropolis situations. With the sport tied at 20-20, a miss would have arrange time beyond regulation barring a Bengals miracle within the sport’s ultimate seconds. However there was no miss, and Cincinnati’s season ended painfully in need of the Tremendous Bowl after a hard-fought sport.

Because the Bengals walked by means of the postgame tunnel, a TV digital camera captured Pratt saying this:

“How the f*** do you contact the quarterback?” Pratt yelled.

Ossai wasn’t within the neighborhood when Pratt made his exclamation. He might have nonetheless been on the Bengals bench, the place he sat together with his head in his fingers for a number of moments after the sport’s conclusions.

However the message certainly received again to Ossai. It additionally was out of line with the Bengals’ public face after the sport, which was in any other case fully supportive of the 22-year-old rookie.

Bengals largely united in assist of Ossai

A number of Bengals gamers consoled Ossai on the bench within the aftermath of the play. Head coach Zac Taylor gave him a hug within the locker room and allowed Ossai to cry on his shoulder. Defensive sort out B.J. Hill actually stood by Ossai’s facet as he fielded powerful questions from reporters within the locker room.

“It didn’t come all the way down to that play,” Hill told reporters after Ossai owned as much as his mistake. “I’m not going to place up with no dumb questions that make it appear to be it was all his fault. It takes greater than him. It takes a complete group.

“That’s my brother. I’ve been in that scenario earlier than, too. I had an opportunity to make a game-winning sack [against Dallas]. I simply missed a sack. I’ve been there. Making an attempt in charge it on one individual, I’m not going to have that.”

Outdoors of Pratt’s outburst, the Bengals entrance was united round Ossai on Sunday. On the identical time, Pratt’s uncooked feelings within the moments after the sport have been comprehensible. After a while to replicate and funky down, he modified his tone on Monday.

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 29: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) heads out of bounds in front of Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai (58) during the last second of the game on January 29th, 2023 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, MO – JANUARY 29: Kansas Metropolis Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) heads out of bounds in entrance of Cincinnati Bengals defensive finish Joseph Ossai (58) over the past second of the sport on January twenty ninth, 2023 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri. (Picture by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire through Getty Photographs)

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