Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis did something on Sunday that he had never done before in his five-year NFL career: He fumbled.
Green-Ellis, who played four years for the Patriots before signing with the Bengals this year, had touched the ball 589 times in his career before his first fumble on Sunday against the Redskins. In an interview on Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network, Green-Ellis told Erik Kuselias that ball security has long been a priority.
“Keeping the ball high and tight and close to my body, and try not to put myself in situations where the defense can strip the ball away,” Green-Ellis said. “Unfortunately, on Sunday, I dropped the ball.”
In another interview today, with Trey Wingo on ESPN, Green-Ellis said he’s disappointed in himself for fumbling, but confident he can go the rest of his career without another fumble.
“Just not very good ball security,” Green-Ellis said. “Not two hands on contact. The guy came up and he stripped it out, and those things happen when you don’t take care of the ball. I let down my teammates, let down the whole Bengals organization. It’s something that I hope never happens again.”
For most running backs, the idea that a fumble could be something that never happens again would be crazy. But with the emphasis Green-Ellis has always put on job security, perhaps it’s possible.
Green-Ellis’s streak of 589 touches without fumbling was the longest streak at the start of a player’s NFL career since the NFL began keeping fumbles as an individual statistic in 1945. Now Green-Ellis can get to work on a new streak and aim for LaDainian Tomlinson’s all-time record of 712 consecutive touches between fumbles.