The Bengals' rookie defender was going after Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer with 12 minutes remaining in the contest. He pursued the Browns quarterback before helping to bring him down on a fourth-and-10. Kizer appeared to fumble the ball, but referees ruled the play an incomplete pass.
Lawson was not rewarded with a sack on the play as a result of the failed pass.
"I got around the edge, and I thought I got a sack, but they said the ball was going forward," Lawson told reporters, according to ESPN. "When I was bringing him down, I just see my teeth in the air for like two seconds. I was like 'Holy crap.'"
Carl Lawson got his teeth busted, but remained in good spirits. pic.twitter.com/jiFQcABu1D— Sam Greene (@SGdoesit) October 1, 2017
Lawson later found the missing pieces from his two teeth.
"Either way, it was a freak accident, mouthpiece or not," Lawson told reporters, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "A hit on the quarterback. I was hitting the quarterback. If it had gotten knocked out any other play, I probably would have been a little bit more upset. It was a good rush. I sacrificed my teeth for it."
Lawson, who typically doesn't wear a mouthpiece, also told reporters that he will now wear a mouthpiece.
"Now you'll wear it," Bengals linebacker Kevin Minter told reporters after the game, according to the team website. "Now you'll listen."
"I will now," Lawson said.
Lawson made the impactful play by rushing against Browns Pro Bowler Joe Thomas.
"I guess it's give and take," Lawson said, according to Bengals.com. "I got a good rush on a Hall-of-Famer...It was a freak accident mouthpiece or not."
The Auburn product was a fourth round pick by the Bengals in the 2017 NFL Draft. Lawson has four combined tackles and 2.5 sacks this season. Sunday was his first career start.