C.J. Mosley had a game-changing touchdown in his hands just feet from the end zone.
With the Ravens trailing the Washington Redskins 13-10 in the third quarter at M&T Bank Stadium, Mosley pulled down an acrobatic interception and had a path for a defensive touchdown. But as he extended his right hand with the football to reach for the pylon, Mosley fumbled it out of the back of the end zone.
Touchback. Redskins ball at the 20-yard line.
The play was a brutal turn of events where the Redskins actually gained 17 yards for throwing an interception inside their own 15-yard line.
"Two hands on the ball, that's about all I can say," Mosley said after falling to the Redskins 16-10. "I tried to make a good play, and it ended up backfiring. If I ever get this chance again, I'm not going to dive with one hand."
Mosley knew the mistake he made as soon as he saw the football bounce out of the back of the end zone. Instead of giving the Ravens offense the ball at the 1-yard line, Washington retained possession and responded with an 11-play drive that ended in a field goal and took almost six minutes off the clock.
"It's a game of inches," Mosley said. "I wish I could break it down more. I just have to try to make the play."
"You have to hold onto the ball there," Head Coach John Harbaugh added. "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."
To make the chain of events even worse, Mosley also injured his hamstring on the play and missed the rest of the game. He tried to stretch out his leg with the help of the medical staff and looked like he made a push to get back in the game, but the Ravens decided he could not return.
He will undergo an MRI Monday to determine the full extent of the injury.
"I'm just going to try my best to get back as quick as I can," he said. "I'll just try to take it day by day and try to get back out there for next week's game."
Mosley's injury left the defense in an unfamiliar position. The third-year linebacker has hardly missed a snap over the course of his career, and he's also the player who relays the calls in from the sidelines.
Linebacker Zachary Orr took over the play-calling duties when Mosley went down. Several players praised the job Orr did with Mosley sidelined, but veteran defender Terrell Suggs said the group as a whole needed to respond to Mosley's absence better.
"C.J. is a big part of this team, but we are a young team and we just have to respond better," Suggs said. "When he went out, it kind of went chaotic on us. But that's not an excuse. We've lost guys before, and we just have to respond better."