Bengals’ BJ Hill staunchly defends Joseph Ossai after pivotal penalty: ‘Dumb question’

Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman B.J. Hill came to the defense of teammate Joseph Ossai and took aim at reporters for asking “stupid a–” questions about a crucial play in a pivotal moment of the biggest game of the year up to that point.

With a few seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes scrambled for a first down but Ossai pushed him down while he was already out of bounds. Ossai was penalized for unnecessary roughness and was shaken up after the play.

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Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai, left, is called for roughing the passer as Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is hit out of bounds during the AFC championship Game, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai, left, is called for roughing the passer as Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is hit out of bounds during the AFC championship Game, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
(Kareem Elgazzar-USA Today Sports)

The penalty moved the Chiefs closer to the field goal and Harrison Butker nailed the go-ahead try. Kansas City won the game 23-20.

Ossai was consoled by teammates after the game while Germaine Pratt let loose as he walked back to the locker room. Ossai did the best he could to address the play with reporters.

“I was just in full chase mode and pushing to maybe get him going backwards, because I knew he was going for the sideline, so make him go backwards and get that clock running,” Ossai said as he tried to fight tears. “I didn’t know how far out of bounds we were.

The roughing-the-passer penalty called on Cincinnati Bengals' Joseph Ossai moved the Chiefs closer to the field goal and Harrison Butker nailed the go-ahead try.

The roughing-the-passer penalty called on Cincinnati Bengals’ Joseph Ossai moved the Chiefs closer to the field goal and Harrison Butker nailed the go-ahead try.
(Sam Greene-USA Today Sports)

“I’ve just got to learn from experience and know not to get close to that quarterback when he’s close to the sideline.… If there’s anything that could possibly cause a penalty in the dire situation like that. I’ve got to do better.”

BENGALS’ GERMAINE PRATT EXPLAINS OUTBURST OVER JOSEPH OSSAI’S LATE HIT: ‘I KNOW WHAT TYPE OF TEAMMATE I AM’

At one point, Hill came over to support Ossai as he answered questions and asked a PR rep in the locker room

“Dumb question. Come on. He played his butt off the whole game,” Hill said. “Ask a different question.”

Ossai had a good game aside from the penalty. He put together five tackles, including one for a loss. He had a pass breakup and two quarterback hits.

“We’re one big family. It’s not fake. When the going gets tough, we lift each other up,” Ossai said. “I am just happy I’ve got these group of guys around me, supporting me right now, because it’s hard. There’s a bunch of guys in that room that I’m very thankful for, B.J. being one of them. A lot of older ones. They’ve done a good job taking us under their wings.”

Cincinnati Bengals' Joseph Ossai goes after Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Kansas City.

Cincinnati Bengals’ Joseph Ossai goes after Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Kansas City.
(Sam Greene-USA Today Sports)

Hill had the last word on social media.

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“One thing about me I’ll always have my brothas back! People asking stupid a– question got to do better!” he tweeted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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