Joseph Ossai’s sister posts heartfelt message to Bengals fans

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai (58) walks off the field following a wild-card...
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai (58) walks off the field following a wild-card playoff NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)(Jeff Dean | AP)
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 5:32 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai’s sister posted on Twitter Wednesday a message of thanks for the support her family and brother has received since the AFC Championship Game.

Peace Ossai wrote: “My family and most especially Joseph Ossai appreciates all the love, support, prayers and kind messages! Y’all’s kindness overshadowed the negativity, and I’m personally thankful to y’all for showing that support to him!!”

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor also commented on Ossai Wednesday, saying the defensive end “has a bright future” with the Bengals.

The support from WhoDey Nation and beyond comes after Ossai’s late hit on Patrick Mahomes in the dwindling moments of last Sunday’s game. Ossai was in pursuit of the Chiefs quarterback and shoved him late out of bounds, triggering a 15-yard personal foul penalty that put Kansas City in range for the field goal that would ultimately seal the game’s outcome.

It was a heartbreaking loss for Bengals fans, perhaps only second to the 2015 AFC Wild Card game loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (which we’ll do everyone the favor of not describing in further detail.)

More heartbreaking was it for Ossai, a Nigerian-born, University of Texas product in his second year with the Bengals, who had played perhaps his best game in a Cincinnati uniform up until that point.

The 22-year-old was visibly shaken after the game. Nevertheless, he consented to a media interview that later went viral for his withering show of contrition. Our social media posts of that interview are filled with fan comments lifting Ossai up and pleading that he does not shoulder the full weight of the loss alone.

Fans also heaped praise on defensive tackle B.J. Hill for standing at Ossai’s side, buttressing his younger teammate’s resolve as much as shielding him from probing questions.

Not every Bengals teammate was quick to do so, literally or figuratively. Linebacker Germaine Pratt, while walking into the locker room, could be heard in a video from Spectrum One reporter Katie Kapusta yelling indignantly about the penalty. “Why the [f***] would you touch the quarterback?”

On Monday, according to an ESPN report, Pratt said the way he responded was incorrect.

“I was in the moment,” Pratt said. “I was wrong. 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.”

Pratt, a free agent in 2023, posted to Instagram on Wednesday: “Just thankful for the opportunity to play for a great city man. Cincinnati has nothing but love in my heart. A kid from High Point NC living his dream. I couldn’t call another place home. It has been real 4 amazing years. All [love] next year most definitely will be better.”

Ossai shared the post to his Instagram story above a “fingers crossed” emoji:🤞🏾

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