Joe Mixon went 987 days between lost fumbles.
The long streak didn’t make Sunday’s botch versus the L.A. Chargers to end the run any easier to digest for the tailback whose last fumble came on Dec. 31, 2017.
“I owe the team. I owe it to them. Thursday is up,” Mixon said Tuesday, noting Thursday night’s tilt versus the Cleveland Browns.
With 12:20 left in a 13-13 game, Mixon took the handoff from Joe Burrow and immediately felt pressure from linebacker Denzel Perryman. The running back attempted to pirouette out of the tackle, and then the ball squirted loose. Former Bengal Nick Vigil was there to scoop up the loose pigskin. All the while, expert play-by-play Kevin Harlan was shouting, “He never fumbles, he never fumbles!”
Mixon estimated he’s watched the disaster about 50 times.
“I played it back even when (RB coach Jemal Singleton) showed me. I don’t like looking at it. But … ‘Run that back one more time. Run it one more time.’ Different angle,” Mixon said, via the team’s official website. “It sucks, but at the same time, no matter how bad it is, you have to learn from it. You have to just to see how you could have attacked it differently. How you could have held the ball and made a move off of it and these are things I’m accessing in my head.”
The fumble led directly to the Chargers’ go-ahead field goal, which eventually became the game-winner.
Mixon, who just signed a new four-year contract extension worth $12 million per year, vows not to let it happen again.
“It definitely hurt. Definitely disappointed. It’s definitely inexcusable,” said Mixon. “It’s something I will never get used to doing. From there just got to learn from it. Learn from the mistake and bounce back, hopefully look back to go ahead and go on another streak … it’s definitely going to add fuel to the fire.”
That streak starts with Thursday night’s tilt in Cleveland.
Thursday Night Football kicks off with the Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns at 8:20 p.m. ET only on NFL Network.
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