Nick Bosa played down any rivalry with Baker Mayfield this week ahead of the 49ers’ game against Mayfield’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
That didn’t stop him, however, from sharing a few words with Mayfield after the quarterback threw a tipped-pass interception in the endzone as the Buccaneers attempted to make a comeback in the 49ers’ eventual 27-14 win.
Reporter Cam Inman asked Bosa in the 49ers’ locker room if he had consoled Mayfield after the turnover, but the reigning Defensive Player of the Year said he was instead explaining an NFL rule to his former rival.
“No, he was (complaining) to the ref and I told him there’s no horsecollar in the pocket,” Bosa said. “He thought he got roughed.”
Sure enough, NFL rules stipulate that a horsecollar tackle — in which a defender tackles a player by grabbing the back of his shoulder pads or jersey — is not penalized within the tackle box or pocket. Bosa hit Mayfield on the play in question as Chase Young also pressured him.
Bosa was also asked about Mayfield blocking him on a Trey Palmer end-around that nearly picked up a first down. Mayfield put his hands up in celebration after the block.
“That was not him — that was the speed of No. 10,” Bosa said, “but I’ll let him have that.”
Bosa’s public duel with Mayfield dates back to their college days: Mayfield’s 2017 Oklahoma team beat Bosa’s Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, and Mayfield celebrated by planting a crimson-and-cream OU flag at midfield.
After Bosa sacked Mayfield in the 49ers’ 2019 win over the Cleveland Browns, he mimicked waving a flag and slamming it into the Levi’s Stadium turf.
The pair finally met away from the field and exchanged friendly words last offseason at the Phoenix Open, and both said there was no ill will between them.
Mayfield exchanged jerseys with Bosa’s teammate, running back Christian McCaffrey, after the game.