Teddy Bridgewater “just tried to force the ball back” on Darius Slay fumble return TD

The Broncos were down seven points and driving in Eagles territory late in the third quarter when the game took a major turn.

Running back Melvin Gordon was stripped of the ball by Eagles linebacker Davion Taylor and cornerback Darius Slay recovered the ball for what would turn into a backbreaking 82-yard touchdown return. During that return, it looked like Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had a shot to make a tackle but opted not to throw his body into Slay’s path.

After the game, Bridgewater was asked if he made a business decision to avoid risking injury. While that’s understandable for a starting quarterback, Bridgewater said it wasn’t the case in this instance.

“I just tried to force the ball back,” Bridgewater said, via Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post. “When you sit in a team meeting and watch coach put up plays throughout the league and two-minute situations and different things, our defense has guys running toward the sideline. We always say: ‘The sideline is your friend.’ I tried to force the ball back. That’s all I tried to do right there.”

Slay wasn’t thrown off course by Bridgewater, who was actually between Slay and the closest sideline, or anyone else in a Broncos uniform en route to the end zone and the touchdown proved to be the nail in Denver’s coffin on Sunday. The coming weeks will show if it also represented the end of the 5-5 team’s shot at a playoff push this season.