The replay seemed to show the ground caused the fumble. That’s even what Ken Whisenhunt saw, with the coach noting “I don’t believe that was a fumble.” Had the call been reversed Sunday with a little more than a minute left, the Cards would have avoided some nausea in their 17-13 win. Yet Tim Hightower wasn’t thinking, “How could they not overturn that?”
It was “How can I not hold on to the football?” Hightower said. “How could I even give them a reason? That’s what I was thinking. Especially after the first one, especially in that situation. The game is pretty much over. All we have to do is keep the ball. Forget the rest.”
Hightower didn’t keep it, officiating decisions aside. Whisenhunt also made the same point — don’t even let it become an issue.
It seems to have become an issue for Hightower, however. After fumbling twice (losing none) as a rookie, Hightower fumbled five times in 2009, losing four, before a two-and-two showing Sunday. The first submarined what had been an excellent opening drive. The second came right after safety Kerry Rhodes made what should have been a game-clinching interception and forced a tired defense back on the field.
Hightower's role will probably take a hit this week, regardless, as Beanie Wells is expected back in the lineup for the Cards. We like Wells to get a lot of the carries with Hightower a pass-catching threat.