Several teammates consoled Bengals linebacker Joseph Ossai after tying a late penalty that put the Chiefs in position for a field goal that delivered a Super Bowl berth to Kansas City. One teammate in particular was not happy.
Linebacker Germaine Pratt was yelling on her way to the locker room for the foul.
“It’s the last fucking series,” Pratt told no one in particular. “What the fuck. Why the fuck did you touch the quarterback??”
In Ossai’s defense, he was in a tight spot. Had he stopped chasing Mahomes, who had given up all guards given to a passer when he became a runner, Mahomes might have come back and picked up more yards. It’s something we’ve seen quarterbacks do, time and time again.
So Ossai continued. How was he supposed to stop?
The end result was a shove. Mahomes was blown away, making things look even worse.
It would be naïve to think that quarterbacks don’t know how to time the collision right to potentially draw those fouls. It’s a core reality of the league’s obsession with keeping quarterbacks healthy.
The Bengals need to take the time to explain this to Pratt and anyone else in the locker room who might have an issue with Ossai. He was damned if he didn’t go after Mahomes, and damned if he did.
Unless and until the league fully commits to fully considering quarterbacks who become runners as something other than quarterbacks, things like this are going to happen.
It’s nobody’s fault when that happens. Ossai would not stop. And Mahomes, once he felt a push on his back, wasn’t going to try to stay awake. While not a flop in the football sense, Mahomes was smart to let momentum carry him to the ground.
Any smart quarterback would have done the same thing at that point. And if Ossai had stopped running, any smart quarterback wouldn’t have gone out of bounds.
Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt: “Why the fuck would you touch quarterback?” originally appeared on Pro Football Talk