Mosley’s fum­ble of in­ter­cep­tion out of end zone was dou­bly dam­ag­ing

LB also in­jures ham­string on play; sev­eral play­ers hurt

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS INSIDER - By Ed­ward Lee

Even be­fore of­fi­cials had ruled that C.J. Mosley fum­bled his in­ter­cep­tion re­turn just a cou­ple of feet be­fore cross­ing the goal line in the third quar­ter of the Ravens’ 16-10 loss to the Washington Red­skins at M&T Bank Sta­dium on Sun­day, the in­side line­backer knew the mis­take he had made.

Even worse, his er­ror was com­pounded by a ham­string in­jury he suf­fered as he at­tempted to dive for the py­lon in the front left cor­ner of the end zone.

“I knew im­me­di­ately,” Mosley said. “So on top of the ham­string and then that, that was a tough one, a tough break.”

The play proved crit­i­cal. In­stead of the Ravens tak­ing a 16-13 lead with 6:09 left in the quar­ter, the touch­back re­turned pos­ses­sion to Washington, which be­gan the en­su­ing se­ries at the 20-yard line. Eleven plays and 72 yards later, Dustin Hop­kins con­verted a 27-yard field goal to give the Red­skins a 16-10 ad­van­tage that would hold for the rest of the game.

Mosley had made a sen­sa­tional play on his team-lead­ing third in­ter­cep­tion of the sea­son. Read­ing quar­ter­back Kirk Cousins’ eyes on sec­ond-and-8 from Washington’s 3, Mosley dropped back and leaped to snare Cousins’ pass to tight end Jor­dan Reed on a quick slant.

Mosley wove his way 12 yards, but with less than a yard left be­fore scor­ing what would have been his first ca­reer touch­down, he lost con­trol of the ball.

“Two hands on the ball. That’s all I can say,” said Mosley, who will un­dergo an MRI on his ham­string to­day. “Tried to make a good play, and it ended up back­fir­ing. So if I ever get the chance again, I know not to dive with one hand.”

Coach John Har­baugh did not fault Mosley’s ef­fort but rued the ex­e­cu­tion.

“You have to hold on to the ball there,” he said. “Take two hands over the top of the py­lon — that would be a tech­nique coach­ing point. Other guys do it with one hand and hold on to the foot­ball. That’s a very costly [play]. Not only do you lose the turnover, you lose 19 yards of field po­si­tion. I think it’s a crazy rule, but we have to un­der­stand that, and you have to pro­tect the foot­ball when you’re do­ing that.” In­jury list grows: In ad­di­tion to Mosley, the Ravens lost wide re­ceiver Steve Smith Sr., right tackle Rick Wag­ner and cor­ner­back Shel­don Price to in­juries Sun­day. None of those four play­ers re­turned to the game. Wide re­ceiver Mike Wal­lace got hurt on the of­fense’s fi­nal at­tempt to tie the score.

Smith, who left af­ter catch­ing a 7-yard pass in the first quar­ter, told a group of re­porters that he rolled his an­kle and was not talk­ing.

Asked how the an­kle felt, Smith replied, “How does it feel? It feels like [ex­ple­tive].”

Wag­ner is bat­tling a thigh ail­ment suf­fered in the sec­ond quar­ter. “We don’t know too much,” he said. “I only saw the doc­tor for, like, two min­utes. We’ll do some tests to­mor­row and have a bet­ter idea.”

Price, start­ing for Sha­reece Wright, who was de­ac­ti­vated af­ter bat­tling what team of­fi­cials de­scribed as back spasms, in­jured his left ham­string in the first quar­ter. His thigh was heav­ily taped af­ter the game.

Wal­lace ab­sorbed a shot to his ribs from Washington in­side line­backer Will Compton while try­ing to catch a pass from quar­ter­back Joe Flacco on fourth-and-8 from the Ravens 21.

“I wanted to bounce up fast, but that one kind of got me,” Wal­lace said. “I think that is the long­est I have ever been down in my ca­reer.” Young gets ex­tended play­ing time: With Wright in­ac­tive and Price in­jured, the de­fense turned to rookie Tavon Young,

KEN­NETH K. LAM/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

Ravens line­backer C. J. Mosley, right, fum­bles the ball out of bounds in the Red­skins end zone for a touch­back as he is tack­led by Washington’s Ty Nsekhe, rear, and Bran­don Scherff in the third quar­ter. Be­sides cost­ing the Ravens a pos­si­ble touch­down, the fum­ble led to a Red­skins field goal.

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