PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — No one can tell for sure if Jason Kelce touched the ball on Ryan Mathews’ key fumble in Sunday’s loss to the Lions. Not even Kelce himself.
The officials ruled the Lions recovered the ball and upheld their decision after reviewing the play. There is a ton of controversy surrounding the play because if Kelce did touch the ball while laying out of bounds, it should have been a dead ball and the Eagles could have punted.
“I’d like to say absolutely, but there are so many things happening on that particular play,” Kelce said when asked if he touched the ball on Monday’s 94WIP The Locker Room Show with Merrill Reese and Howard Eskin. “The ball was loose. One of the DB’s for the Lions was beating me, so I just dove trying to get him away from the ball. On the tape that I’ve seen it certainly appears that I’m touching it, but it’s not the clearest thing either which is why I think the call ended up standing the way it was.
Listen: The 94WIP Locker Room Show
“It wasn’t until later that I found out that I had went right past the ball. But it just spit right out in between my legs. I feel like I had to have touched it at some point, but I certainly don’t remember feeling it, no.”
Detroit took over in Philadelphia territory and kicked a game winning field goal.
On Monday, Eagles coach Doug Pederson admitted he thought Kelce touched the ball saying, “It’s a dead ball out of bounds. That’s the rule.”
A lot of the blame for the Eagles’ first loss of the season fell on Mathews for fumbling, despite totaling 75 yards and a touchdown on 15 touches to that point. Mathews, who was limited in Week 3 with an ankle injury, has found the end zone four times already in three full games.
“Whenever a game is close you can always point to two, three major plays throughout the day that end up resulting in the win for whichever team,” Kelce said of Mathews’ fumble. “Obviously, that was a huge turning point for us, but I don’t want to lose track of how good Ryan Mathews played the rest of the day in my opinion. I think he made a lot of plays for us. He ran really well, very unfortunate in that situation with the fumble. But I love playing with that guy, plays extremely hard every single time he touches that ball, every single he has to block. He’s an awesome teammate to have on this team.”