Ravens rookie Tyre Phillips lived every lineman’s dream with his long rumble
The Baltimore Ravens rushed for 159 net yards in their 40-14 blowout win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. While they were led on the ground by rookie running back J.K. Dobbins who total 64 yards on 14 carries, the longest run of the day came from rookie offensive lineman Tyre Phillips.
Even though it didn’t show up on the box score in the rushing stats, the third-round pick out of Mississippi State lived every lineman’s dream when he scooped up a fumble after quarterback Lamar Jackson was strip-sacked deep in Ravens territory and rumbled for 22 yards.
“It was kind of a closer-type moment because it was such a big play. We go from a potential fumble inside our 10-yard line to a first down. That’s quite a turn of events there,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said.
Every lineman at any and every level whether it is on the offensive or defensive side of the ball dreams and fantasizes about being a ball carrier. They do a lot of the dirty work in the trenches that often goes overlooked and sometimes wish that they had slender builds so that they’d be better suited to play more glamorous positions.
Phillips not only displayed the awareness to pick up the loose ball but once he got going, he exhibited the excellent ball security of a short-yardage power back at the goal line by covering the ball up with both hands.
“I was praying he didn’t fumble when he got chopped,” Jackson said with a laugh. “Hats off to Tyre – blocking and running.”
As great as his highlight run was, he wound up paying for it after breaking a few tackles when he was hit up high by Jaguars’ outside linebacker Myles Jack. He had to leave the game and would not return after entering the concussion protocol.
“Probably wasn’t my smartest decision, but we don’t just preach ball security to the guys under 300 pounds,” Phillips tweeted after the game.
Some of the most entertaining and heartbreaking sports highlights often involve an offensive or defensive lineman who happens to get the ball in his hands and tries to channel his inner running back before inexplicably fumbling or getting the ball knocked out their hands on the return or prior to reaching the goal line i.e. Leon Lett who infamously had it happen to him twice.
“I was talking to some of the guys on the sideline … we’ve never seen that before,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve never seen an offensive lineman pick up a ball and actually gain yards without fumbling. We’ve actually shown our guys many plays of that. … I think Tyre was paying attention because he had that thing covered up nice. And then of course Myles Jack is a pretty good linebacker – had quite a hit there.”
Thankfully, Phillips wasn’t seriously hurt first and foremost but also that he didn’t join the highlight reel of infamous big-man blunders when they don’t decide to just fall on a fumble or get down before they get caught or blindsided. He received a game ball for his tremendous efforts and will have a great career highlight to share with his kids and grandchildren one day.