Carl Lawson (58) lost some teeth Sunday against Cleveland.

Cincinnati Bengals’ rookie defensive end Carl Lawson got an excellent case in point on the value of a mouthguard Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Lawson went in for a hit on Cleveland QB DeShone Kizer, and emerged with a couple less teeth, as he described to ESPN’s Katherine Terrell:

Lawson wasn’t wearing a mouthpiece when he attempted to sack Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer. He said he doesn’t know exactly what happened, but he recalled seeing his teeth leave his mouth as he was making the tackle.

“I got around the edge, and I thought I got a sack, but they said the ball was going forward,” Lawson said. “When I was bringing him down, I just see my teeth in the air for like two seconds. I was like, ‘Holy crap.'”

Cincinnati Enquirer photographer Sam Greene captured Lawson without his teeth, and the Bengals’ staffer who recovered them:

Presumably noted dental obsessive Rick Reilly has a column ready to copy and paste somewhere for this occasion. Get the Novocaine ready just in case. At any rate, Lawson told Terrell he’ll likely visit a dentist Sunday night, but that didn’t stop his teammates making fun of him for not wearing his mouthguard. However, Lawson said he wasn’t too upset over the result of the play:

“I guess it’s give and take,” Lawson said, shrugging. “I got good pressure. Almost a sack.”

He added: “If it had gotten knocked out any other play, I probably would’ve been more upset, but that was a good rush. I sacrificed my teeth for it.”

Indeed.

[ESPN]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.