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DeSean Jackson on fumble: I’ve got to take it on the chin

DeSean Jackson

AP

Dez Bryant wasn’t the only player riding a roller coaster of performance and emotion during Monday night’s game.

Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson was on the same kind of ride, but it was condensed to about a minute of game time. Jackson made a cameo appearance as a punt returner with less than two minutes to play and his attempt to spark his team with a big return turned into a nightmare. Jackson lost the ball after reversing course, retreating toward his own end zone and then trying to cut back upfield, giving the Cowboys an easy shot at the first touchdown of the game.

Jackson would catch a 28-yard touchdown to tie the game a minute later after Rashad Ross’s kickoff return went the way Jackson was hoping his punt return would go.

“Rivalry game. Trying to do any and everything to pull out a victory and we just fell on the short end of the stick this time. Very frustrating,” Jackson said, via CSN Washington. “A lot rode on this game and we knew what we had at stake. Personally, very frustrated. I’m going to take that one on my chin and I’m a veteran in this league and I know I need to protect the ball and it just got away from me. It’s the nature of the game. I feel like I’m a big threat in this league and I’ve been proving that for years to come. Just one of them things where just trying to make a play for my team, so once again, like I said, I’ve got to take it on the chin, a fumble.”

Coach Jay Gruden expressed no regret for putting Jackson back for the punt, citing his big play ability and a history of making big plays that includes a punt return touchdown against the Giants that lifted the Eagles to an NFC East title. That’s what the Redskins were hoping for on Monday night, but, thanks in large part to Jackson’s fumble, they wound up keeping a 4-8 team’s hopes of a division title alive instead.