Lions hard-charging Bo Scarbrough can't let go of costly fumble
Landover, Md. — No one wants to talk bright spots during dark days, but running back Bo Scarbrough stacked a second impressive performance on last week's debut, running for 98 yards on 18 carries in the Detroit Lions' 19-16 loss to Washington.
After not recording a carry his first season and a half, Scarbrough is quickly establishing himself as Detroit's go-to back down the stretch, with his downhill running style and ability to break tackles.
But his insistence of fighting for every last yard led to trouble on Sunday, when Scarbrough had the ball knocked loose while dragging multiple Washington defenders for extra yardage.
And that fumble was the only thing Scarbrough wanted to talk about after the game.
"First of all, I've got to do a better job taking care of the ball," he said. "I just feel like part of (the loss) was my fault. Fumbling the ball, they got three points off the (turnover), we lost by three. Could have been a tied game. I've got to do a better job taking care of the ball."
Before Scarbrough spoke, Lions coach Matt Patricia praised both the young backs' production and also the attitude reflected focusing on the mistake.
"I think he's done a great job with his opportunity," Patricia said. "He is learning the offense, he is running hard, he gives an element of toughness downhill, from that standpoint. It means a lot to him. He cares and it is important. From that aspect, he's trying to do everything he can to try to help us and he is trying to get better, so I appreciate that as a coach."
In hindsight, Scarbrough wishes he had put a second hand on the ball, or even gone down earlier, but that's always a tough balance for any runner, knowing when to concede and fight another day.
This isn't the first time something like this has happened to Scarbrough. When he was at Alabama, he put the ball on the ground in the closing minutes of a one-score game against Ole Miss in 2016. The difference is a teammate recovered that fumble and his team went on to win the game.
After Sunday's turnover, Scarbrough said several teammates, many on the defense, as well as position coach Kyle Caskey, reminded him it was one play and he needed to move past it.
Yet Scarbrough's quick recollection of his fumble at Alabama shows how much his past mistakes eat at him.
"At the end of the day, I have to do my job and I've got to do it efficiently and better than I did today," Scarbrough said. "I've got to practice harder week in and week out, and I've got to take care of the ball."
The Lions had two players exit Sunday's loss with an injury, wide receiver Marvin Hall and defensive tackle Damon Harrison.
Hall was quickly ruled out with a foot injury and was seen in a boot and on crutches in the locker room following the game. Hall had one catch for 21 yards and is now averaging 37.3 yards on his seven grabs this season.
As for Harrison, he left in the fourth quarter after multiple players landed on him during a third-and-1 handoff to running back Adrian Peterson. No injury was announced, but Harrison didn't return to action down the stretch.