Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers TE Ed Dickson scores look-what-I-found touchdown

Panthers tight end Ed Dickson, left, recovers a fumbled ball by running back Jonathan Stewart, center, as he is hit by the Tampa Bay defense during the third quarter on Sunday. Ed Dickson ran the fumbled ball for a touchdown.
Panthers tight end Ed Dickson, left, recovers a fumbled ball by running back Jonathan Stewart, center, as he is hit by the Tampa Bay defense during the third quarter on Sunday. Ed Dickson ran the fumbled ball for a touchdown. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Carolina Panthers tight end Ed Dickson has nine career touchdowns, but none as unique as the one he scored Sunday against Tampa Bay.

On Carolina’s second possession of the second half, running back Jonathan Stewart rushed off the left guard for a gain of 8 yards before safety Chris Conte jarred the ball loose.

Dickson had just finished a block and was moving to another when the ball popped out. He grabbed it out of the air and finished the job, going 57 yards for the touchdown.

Officially it goes down not as a rush but as a fumble return, the first of Dickson’s career.

“I was in the right spot and took it and kept running,” Dickson said. “I didn’t know if it was legal or not. I just took it to the end zone. If they were going to call it back, they were going to call it back. I was getting in the end zone.”

Ted Ginn Jr. threw a big block on the play that took away two would-be tacklers, and Dickson thanked him after the play. Stewart, who went to Oregon with Dickson, said it was a “Duck-to-Duck connection.”

Just like the team drew it up?

“It’s going to be in the playbook from now on,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera joked.

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