In the end, Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco decided to honor fallen teammate Chris Henry not by wearing his jersey, but by putting up a strong performance.
With the Bengals trailing 7-3 in San Diego, Ochocinco hauled in a 49-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Carson Palmer, which gave Cincinnati its first lead of the game.
Through the first 17 minutes of play, Ochocinco has three catches for 79 yards.
After scoring, Ochocinco fell to his left knee as he gestured to the sky. At one point, he pulled his chin strap free from his helmet. It appeared he might remove his helmet, which could have triggered a 15-yard penalty.
Then again, going to the ground after a score is expressly prohibited. But the officials kept their laundry in their pockets as Ochocinco honored Henry.
In remains to be seen whether the NFL will choose not to send Ochocinco a FedEx envelope this week containing notification that the gesture, while honorable, will result in a fine.
UPDATE: As some of you have pointed out, an exception possibly applies to gestures of prayer. As MJD of Yahoo! Sports pointed out in October, that isn’t supposed to matter. Moreover, it’s unclear whether Ochocinco was praying or whether he was simply overcome by emotion relating to the death of his friend and teammate.