Mike Pettine rips Terrance West for ‘inexcusable’ fumble

Terrance West’s stock (and, likely, playing time) is heading south.

The Browns’ rookie running back lost a fumble in the third quarter of Sunday’s 26-10 loss to the Bills. Unfortunately for West, the fumble was extraordinarily costly, as it was scooped up and returned for a touchdown. Seizing an incredible shift in momentum, Buffalo took a 14-3 lead and never looked back.

To say West drew the ire of coach Mike Pettine would be an understatement.

“You can’t be that loose with the football, it’s inexcusable,” Pettine said, per the Chronicle-Telegram. “West really changed the whole flow of the game. It would have been a one-score game, and that’s the frustrating thing.

“Close games are going to come down to turnovers. Like I said, the West fumble changed everything. It’s inexcusable.”

It was only the second fumble in 139 touches for the impressive Towson product. Regardless, he pinned the target on his own back.

“I blame this game on me,” West said. “When I fumbled the ball and lost the ball, they scored. That changed the game. It changed the momentum of the game, so I blame this one on me.”

Though West led the team in rushing against the Bills (32 yards on seven carries), his chances of locking up the starting job are kaput. Firmly entrenched in Pettine’s doghouse, he should expect to play second fiddle to fellow rookie Isiah Crowell for the foreseeable future.

(Photo credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, MSN.com, FanSided.com, and About.com. Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (zpkelb@gmail.com).