It didn't end up being a touchdown, but one of the Bucs' biggest hustle plays in Thursday's win over Jacksonville saw receiver Adam Humphries scoop up a loose ball just before halftime, after what looked like an incompletion but was correctly ruled a Jameis Winston fumble.
Jacksonville's Dante Fowler got to Winston and hit the ball as he was starting his throwing motion -- the ball came out at an angle that looked like a pass, and five Jaguars players were around the loose ball, but only Humphries went after it. With Winston running at him and urging him to go, Humphries took off to the end zone for what was initially signaled as a touchdown on the field. As it turns out, in the final two minutes of a half, a player cannot advance a teammate's fumble.
"Saw the ball on the ground and immediately, just instincts, I was like 'Shoot. Pick it up.' If they blow it dead, it's not going to hurt anything," Humphries said. "Obviously a touchdown would be nice. I picked it up and started to run and looked back and no one was chasing me. I thought 'It's probably dead.' But Jameis is running, screaming 'Go, Adam! Go! Go! Go!' As soon as I saw Jameis running at me, I took off. Me and Jameis were just trailing each other. (The official) put the hands up, and I was like 'Give it to me! Give it to me!' But I guess under two minutes, you can't advance a fumble."
Had the Jaguars recovered, they'd have had the ball with 29 seconds left in the half, but the Bucs couldn't get points out of the opportunity. After getting to the Jaguars' 34 -- well within field-goal range -- they had an illegal shift penalty, then lost 7 yards on Winston's fumble, then had a J.R. Sweezy holding penalty, setting up a second-and-32 play from the Bucs' 44. Winston hit Chris Godwin for a 15-yard gain, but his final-play Hail Mary throw was knocked down incomplete to end the half.
"It was cool," Humphries said of the touchdown that wasn't. "It was a heads-up play, and it's always cool to learn new rules -- that was something I didn't know about. It was good to run in the end zone and see the ref put his hands up at least."