Tandon Doss' comeback has been one of the Ravens' few fairytale storylines this season.
But on Sunday, Doss had a nightmare of a play.
The Ravens wide receiver and punt returner fumbled a fair catch deep in Ravens territory that led to the Browns' final touchdown in their 24-18 victory.
"Me dropping that ball, it changed the game," Doss said. "Can't let that happen."
Doss entered the game second in the NFL in average yards per punt return (17.8). He had a couple more big returns in Cleveland – one for 27 yards and another in the fourth quarter for 36 yards.
He hadn't fumbled any of his previous 21 career punt returns. But that streak came to an end.
With less than six minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Ravens were trailing by just four points and the defense had just gotten a stop. The Browns punted and Doss signaled for a fair catch.
He went to cradle the ball instead of catching it above his head, which is not his usual technique, and the ball bounced off his hands. Doss had a chance to recover the ball, but it squeezed under his legs and he took a hit from linebacker Eric Martin, who pounced on it on the Ravens' 11-yard line.
The Browns scored on a 4-yard touchdown to tight end Gary Barnidge two plays later, giving them a 21-10 lead.
"I've made that play a million times. We practice it every day in practice. I'm doing it every day," Doss said.
"It's one of the toughest things you can do out there. You're back there by yourself. There's a lot of pressure on you. But they're trusting me to make the plays, so I've got to make them."
Head Coach John Harbaugh said the wind at FirstEnergy Stadium by the lake affected the ball. He said it was moving a bit in the air, and was a knuckling punt to begin with.
"Tandon has great hands, so we were all surprised to see that hit the ground," Harbaugh said. "He's going to catch that 99 out of 100 times. Unfortunately, he didn't catch it when it counted for us."
Doss, who notched two catches for 29 yards on offense, got some measure of atonement for the gaffe.
He had a sideline return of 36 yards on the first play of the fourth quarter that set the Ravens up a the Cleveland 32-yard line, and put them in position for a touchdown to wide receiver Marlon Brown five plays later.
Doss took little solace in that, however.
"We've just got to do better on all phases, starting with me," he said.