HomeSportsNFLGermaine Pratt Expresses Regret Over Reaction to Joseph Ossai Penalty

Germaine Pratt Expresses Regret Over Reaction to Joseph Ossai Penalty

by Sam Gillenwater
Bengals LB Germaine Pratt
Kevin Sabitus | Getty Images

Germaine Pratt knows he messed up. After Cincinnati’s loss to Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game, a video of the Bengals entering their locker room caught the linebacker criticizing the late unnecessary roughness penalty against second-year defensive end Joseph Ossai.

However, after some time to reflect, Pratt knows he wasn’t the best teammate he could have been at that time when some of his teammates needed him the most. He said it was the reaction of a competitor, one that many wouldn’t understand. Still, he knows it doesn’t excuse the way that it looked and came across.

“I was in the moment, I was wrong,” said Pratt with the media on Monday afterward. “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.”

“It’s a reaction that anybody has that’s a competitor. You know what was at stake in that moment. I love this game, no doubt about it,” Pratt said. “They talk about my character as a teammate. Some people never played this game. They don’t know how much effort guys put in the game.”

Ossai needed all the support he could get following his penalty that essentially gave the Chiefs the win after it put them in range for the winning field goal to send them to the Super Bowl. BJ Hill led the way in that effort but, unfortunately, reactions like Pratt’s were also seen and heard.

In the wake of the loss, Pratt said he ‘went around and talked to every guy’, which suggests he and Ossai have spoken since. In the end, Pratt hopes it can be water under the bridge because of the bond they’ve all worked to build in Cincinnati. It’s also a bond Pratt says he wants to maintain as his upcoming free agency looms.

“The brotherhood we built around here is unmatched. It’s unstoppable,” said Pratt. “Nobody can break us no matter how many people try to throw dirt on your name in the media, nobody can stop that. I want to be back here.”