Super Bowl: Inactive Bengal Vernon Hargreaves picks up penalty in street clothes

Despite being listed as inactive, Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Vernon Hargreaves made an impact on Sunday’s Super Bowl.

It wasn’t positive.

With time winding down in the first half, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford threw an interception into the end zone to Bengals safety Jessie Bates.

After the turnover, some of Bates’ Bengals teammates joined him in the end zone to celebrate. Barring an egregious taunt, this is generally acceptable behavior in the eyes of NFL officials. As long as you’re a uniformed player who’s actually playing in the game.

Hargreaves, who’s been nursing an ankle injury since Cincinnati’s regular-season finale against the Cleveland Browns, was not. He was listed as inactive for a third straight game on Sunday.

But that didn’t stop him from joining in on the fun.

You can’t do this

In case you missed him, Hargreaves is the dude wearing the gray hoodie and flip flops jumping up and down in the end zone. That’s not allowed.

He drew an unsportsmanlike conduct flag as a non-uniformed player joining an on-field celebration. Instead of starting on the 20-yard line with a touchback, the Bengals started their ensuing possession on the 10 with 2:00 remaining before halftime. Five plays and seven yards later, they punted, and the game eventually went into halftime with the Rams leading, 13-10

The Bengals took over early in the second half for a 20-13 lead, but the Rams rallied with a late touchdown from Stafford to Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp for a 23-20 victory.

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III (29) is carted off the field after an injury during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III (29) is carted off the field after an injury during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Vernon Hargreaves didnt play in the Super Bowl, but he manged to pick up a penalty. (AP Photo/David Richard/File)

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