The game essentially ended when Christine Michael fumbled the ball away at the Rams’ 27-yard line with 45 seconds left. The play came on third down and needed to get to the 25 for a first down, with Michael losing the ball as he tried to gain every inch he could.

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The game essentially ended when Christine Michael fumbled the ball away at the Rams’ 27-yard line with 45 seconds left. The play came on third down and needed to get to the 25 for a first down, with Michael losing the ball as he tried to gain every inch he could.

Carroll said later he had no issue with Michael trying to keep the play alive.

“He’s competing,’’ Carroll said. “He’s playing ball’’

Said Michael: “It was just a great play by those guys (Alec Ogletree got credit for the tackle and recovery). They played a tremendous game today. I’ve just got to do better holding onto the ball in those situations and just come back and get better.”

Michael retreated to the bench and put a towel over his head, appearing visibly distraught.

Asked what Carroll said to him later, Michael said: “Nothing, man, don’t hold my head down. They’ll come right back to me next week man, just go back and get better.”