DENVER -- Danny Trevathan saw it unfolding in front of him.
Ravens running back Ray Rice, split out wide in the formation, cut toward the sideline. Trevathan's eyes lit up.
"They had beaten me on it before and I was like, 'Nah, I'm not going to let them get me on this again,'" he said.
The second-year linebacker cut in front of Rice just as Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco released the ball.
"He probably knew what we were running a little bit," Flacco acknowledged, "and he jumped the route."
From there, there was nothing but green in front of Trevathan, who sprinted 30 yards into the end zone. The problem was he dropped the ball at about yard 29.
What could have been the club's first defensive score of the season was ruled a fumble, and when Ravens wide receiver Brandon Stokley came diving in to recover the ball, it bounced out of the back of the end zone for a touchback.
"It was a young mistake. I was just in the moment," Trevathan said. "I thought I was in the end zone. Next time I'm going hold the ball up high and give it to a fan or something. But it's not going to happen again. I'm growing from it and I'm not let going to let anybody stop me."
When reminded that Trindon Holliday committed a similar error on a return touchdown in Carolina last season, Trevathan noted that Holliday redeemed himself on more than one occasion -- something he hopes to do.
"After that he scored like 18 more times, so hopefully I can go ahead and do some more," he laughed.
Trevathan predicted that he'll have another opportunity to make sure holds onto the ball, and cornerback Chris Harris agreed.
"Oh yeah, I believe there'll be a next time," Harris said. "He's a ball-hawk."
What magnified the mistake was that as fellow linebacker Wesley Woodyard went to pick up the loose fumble in the end zone, he was injured as Stokley dove in to fight for the ball.
"What I always learn and what I always need to do is to continue to go full speed all the time," Woodyard said. "Even though I thought he scored, you've got to finish that play. That's on me, not on Danny."
Fortunately, the defensive captain was able to re-enter the game, making it easier to joke about in the locker room after the fact.
"Oh, he's going to get his later," Woodyard laughed when asked if he'd spoken to Trevathan about the fumble yet.
Quarterback Peyton Manning had no doubt that Trevathan had already learned his lesson.
"He's a young player, and that was a great play that he made," Manning said. "It was a mistake and he will certainly learn from it and hopefully we can be better for it."