An open gash, looking red and raw, is impossible to ignore in the upper middle portion of Marcus Thigpen’s nose.
Yet, it’s only one of the lingering wounds from the Buffalo Bills’ 23-20 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday.
The other isn’t visible, but clearly much larger and far more painful. On Tuesday, Thigpen was still upset with himself for muffing a punt that the Eagles recovered at the Buffalo 37-yard line early in the second quarter. Even after backing themselves up 20 yards with successive holding penalties, the Eagles cashed in on the turnover two plays later when Sam Bradford connected with Nelson Agholor for a 47-yard touchdown to give Philadelphia a 14-7 lead.
There were many other mistakes by the Bills that didn’t involve Thigpen, but no one had to tell him that that one was the biggest and costliest.
“I feel bad about it,” Thigpen said. “I feel like it’s all me, for the most part, just turning the ball over in a critical situation in a game that we had to have. I just feel terrible about it.”
He could have taken the safe route and called for a fair catch. But Thigpen wanted to make a play. He always seeks to make a play. He was certain he had the chance to do so as Donnie Jones’ punt hung in the air seemingly forever.
“It was a case of me trying to do too much,” Thigpen said. “If I could have just caught it and got past the one guy that was to my left, I felt like I had some room. But I should have just fair-caught it. It was hanging up there a long time.
“I’m just like, ‘Come on down, come on down.’ If I could get it down, I felt like I had room, because it looked clear to my right. But they were closing in so close to me on my left side, and I couldn’t get it. I tried to catch it, I got it, and that’s when” the fumble “happened. I put it all on me.
“It’s unfortunate, but I take the blame.”
The Bills on Tuesday added tight end Blake Annen to the practice squad. The Eagles signed the 6-foot-4, 247-pound Annen as an undrafted rookie free agent from the University of Cincinnati last year.
Annen also spent time with the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers.