Buck Allen's first game as the Raven's No. 2 running back didn't go the way he wanted.
The rookie averaged just 2 yards per carry against Washington, and his night was marred by a fumble on the goal line before halftime that prevented his first NFL touchdown.
"I have no excuse," Allen told a group of reporters after the game. "Anybody would hate to fumble on the goal line. Just put it behind you. That's how I respond. It's behind me and we're going to go back to work."
The fumble occurred when a Washington defender got his hands on the football to pop it loose just as Allen was about to score on a fourth-down carry. The play resulted in turnover on downs with two seconds left before halftime.
Allen saw increased reps with the starting offense Saturday night because Lorenzo Taliaferro suffered a knee injury in the second preseason game that could sideline him into the regular season. Taliaferro and Allen had competed for the No. 2 job behind starter Justin Forsett, but Taliaferro appeared to have the edge before getting hurt.
Now Allen could be in line for that role going into the season opener, and the Ravens want him to grow from the last week's miscue.
"It's a learning experience, certainly," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He's in there taking it very hard, which is what you expect. We don't ask guys to say it's their fault, or it's, 'My bad.' We're not into all of that. We all know whose fault it was. We all know whose mistake it was. We all take responsibility."
The Ravens also stressed they still have confidence in the fourth-round pick, who has shown his bright spots this summer. He has good vision and strong hands out of the backfield, which makes him a natural fit for Ravens' running scheme.
"He's going to have other opportunities and chances going forward, and I really believe he's going to be a very good player," Harbaugh said. "But he's going to have to learn from that."
Allen leads the Ravens with 78 rushing yards on 29 carries this preseason, and he'll likely have plenty of opportunities in the preseason finale this week to put the fumble behind him.
"Just let it go," Allen said. "When my number's called, I just have to go out there and execute and play."