Kyle Juszczyk Moving On From First-Ever Fumble


This has been a year of firsts for Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk.

It's his first year as starter, first NFL catch, first touchdown. Now he's got a dubious other first.

Juszczyk lost the first fumble of his football (not just NFL) career Monday night in New Orleans. It didn't end up biting the Ravens, but losing a fumble on the opponent's 1-yard line is a tough pill to swallow.

"First ever!" Juszczyk said Wednesday. "I think I lost two out of bounds in college. But that was it."

The Ravens could have taken a 7-point lead on the first play of the second quarter when Flacco hit Juszczyk in the flats. Juszczyk saw two players ahead of him and about three 3 yards out from the end zone. He thought he could barrel his way through and forgot to didn't tuck the ball away appropriately.

Juszczyk trucked Saints safety Pierre Warren, but Warren got the last laugh. As he fell, Warren ripped the ball out of the fullback's right arm and New Orleans recovered (after a replay overturned the ruling).

"It's a simple correction for me; I just had the ball in the wrong hand," Juszczyk said. "It happened. Try to move on and not think about it too much."

It's been a breakout year for Juszczyk now that he's a starter. He's been a key cog in the Ravens' improved rushing attack, blocking especially well considering he wasn't a blocker in college.

"He was a better blocker than he was a ball handler last game. That's not good," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "You don't fumble the ball on the 1-yard line, and he knows that. Go ask him. He'll tell you. He's feeling it. But we have a lot of confidence in him as a blocker and as a receiver."

Harbaugh was asked if it makes him feel better knowing that it was Juszczyk' s first fumble.

"No, it makes me feel no better at all," he said with a laugh. "Makes me feel worse actually. Why now? Could have got it out of the way at Harvard, and we would have been done with it. Just as long as it's his last time we'll be fine."

Juszczyk has become a bigger part of the Ravens' passing attack the past couple weeks.

He hauled in three passes for 26 yards against the Titans before the bye, then another three passes for 21 yards versus the Saints. He had 10 receptions in the nine games leading up to his back-to-back three-catch games.

The Ravens still went back to Juszczyk after his fumble, as quarterback Joe Flacco hit him for a 7-yard gain in the fourth quarter. "It was literally the exact same play [as the one where I fumbled]," Juszczyk said. "For Kubiak to still want to call that after what had happened, that meant a lot to me. It was good for my confidence."

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