Chris Long began celebrating a sack as he ran off the field, which would have been fine. Except the play wasn't over.
Long, the Eagles' veteran defensive end, strip-sacked Derek Carr midway through the fourth quarter of the Eagles' win over the Raiders Monday night, but while Long was jogging off the field, he was blissfully unaware he had forced a fumble and the ball was bouncing around the field.
After the game, Long apologized for the play via Twitter.
I sincerely apologize to the city of Philadelphia for running away from a live ball. I was a bit confused as to there being a live ball. Obviously. Glad we could get off the field!!! Thanks for bringing it fans!!! Ugly win over a pretty loss!!!— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) December 26, 2017
"When I tweeted it, it was kind of one of those things, 'Yeah, I’m an idiot, I hear you. Before you guys get on me, let me just get on myself because it wasn’t my smartest play,'" Long said.
"But at the end of the day, I’m not apologizing for making a play. Just next time I get a sack I’m going to make sure the ball’s still in his hands or on the ground.”
On Tuesday, the Eagles returned to practice, and Long was able to laugh about the play.
"It was a dumb play, and I wasn’t like crying at my keyboard, I made a good play and I didn’t finish it, but I didn’t know the ball was out," he said.
"I thought I just sacked him and I was kind of pissed off that I had sacked him earlier but they called it back for an offsides penalty, so I just started running off the field because it was third down and I was excited. I didn’t know the ball was out."
Raiders running back DeAndre Washington recovered Carr's fumble, and the Raiders punted. The Eagles wound up winning 19-10, clinching the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.
For Long, the sack was his fifth this year and the forced fumble was his fourth, which is fourth-most in the league and matches the most by an Eagle since William Fuller forced five in 1995.
"Most of them were on purpose, this last one was an accident," Long said. "It's hard enough to win, but finishing can be the hardest part because all these quarterbacks are so athletic.
"I wish I could say I always do it on purpose. But not always."