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Evan Engram on unsportsmanlike flag: ‘I was just trying to dance’

Evan Engram of the New York Giants hauls

Evan Engram of the New York Giants hauls in a touchdown reception during the first half against the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Evan Engram did not have much time to enjoy his first NFL touchdown.

The rookie tight end caught an 18-yard score in the end zone in the second quarter of Monday’s game against the Lions, but he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for grabbing himself during his celebration dance.

“I don’t know what they were talking about,” Engram said of the officials who flagged him. “I did nothing intentional. That was bull.”

When he saw the flag, Engram said he initially thought the touchdown was going to be negated by a penalty elsewhere on the field. He said he hadn’t seen the replay of the offending gesture.

“I was just trying to dance,” he said. “One of the guys came and bumped into me. I didn’t try to do anything intentionally . . . I was trying to talk to the refs and let them know, but I guess I accidentally touched something. It was nothing intentional.”

Engram’s night did not get better after that. On the next offensive play, Eli Manning tried to hit him with a pass that he tipped in the air for an interception. The play came one snap after the Giants got their first defensive takeaway of the season.

“That was on me,” Engram said, even though the pass was behind him. “It’s frustrating. We were in position to go down and gain some momentum. Just a bad play. I could have run a better route. The ball touched my hands, so I have to come down with it.”

There was one more play that will stick with Engram, a fourth-quarter pass down the left sideline that he dropped after a hit from the safety.

“That was a good hit, he got me pretty good,” Engram said. “No excuses, though. I have to make that catch.”

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