LOS ANGELES — The Cincinnati Bengals were called for a personal foul after safety Jessie Bates III intercepted Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford in the end zone late in the second quarter.
Here's what happened: The call came during the Bengals' 'Griddy dance,' a celebration the team has done throughout the season. This time they were called for a taunting — for a good reason.
Vernon Hargreaves III, a six-year cornerback out of Florida, ran out onto the field to participate. The first problem is he wasn't in the game when he came on the field. The second is that he wasn't dressed to play because he wasn't on the active roster. He was wearing pre-game sweats, not the uniform.
Hargreaves was taken No. 11 in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was claimed off waivers by the Houston Texans during week 10 of 2019. The Bengals picked him up during week 10 this year after the Texans waived him.
In 69 career games, Hargreaves has 290 tackles, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. He started one game for Cincinnati in 2021 and played in four.
The Bengals would have received the ball at their 20-yard-line, but the penalty put them back to the 10. Normally a personal foul is 15 yards, but when a team is that close to the end zone, it's half the distance to the goal line.
"That's a silly thing, we pride ourselves on being a disciplined team and that was a very undisciplined moment. It's frustrating," Taylor said in his postgame press conference when asked about the penalty.