Dolphins' Robert Hunt laughs off illegal TD catch-and-run: 'I was just trying to get into the end zone'

The biopic of Robert Hunt's NFL career will begin with a record scratch and a screenshot of the 327-pound guard upside down, reaching the pigskin across the goal line. "I bet you're wondering how I got here," the narrator will softly say before the film zips into a fast rewind of one of the most entertaining plays that didn't count you'll ever see in a professional football game.

On a third-and-goal from the 6-yard-line with 13:11 left in a 6-3 ballgame between the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa tried to throw a screen pass to running back Myles Gaskin. Instead, Hunt plucked the ball out of the air, made a cut in open space and barreled toward the end zone. Bearing down on the goal line, two Ravens defenders converged. Hunt didn't relent, plowing over the top, flipping, and desperately reaching for the end zone.

"It was a screen play," Hunt said on NFL Network after the game. "Calais (Campbell), he's been playing forever, I saw him standing there, I saw the ball, I didn't want it to get intercepted, so grabbed it and took off running with it."

Run with it, he did.

By rule, Hunt wasn't an eligible receiver on the play, so the effort didn't count. But it can matter in our hearts.

"I was just trying to win at that point," Hunt said. "Even though it didn't count, it didn't click in my head that it didn't count. I was just trying to score."

In a game that up to that point lacked entertainment value, Hunt provided levity and fun. Seeing the burly offensive lineman rumble in space was like seeing a unicorn jaunt through a corn maze.

"High school, I played a little receiver, tight end. ... I went out there a little bit," Hunt said. "The guys just laughed at me. … I got a couple 'That was nice, that was the best play I've seen tonight.'"

Sure the play didn't count, but with the screen to Gaskin looking blown up, Hunt taking the ball and getting it over the goal line at least gave the Dolphins another shot at a TD after the five-yard penalty (a missed fade from Tua to Mack Hollins).

"I was just trying to get into the end zone," Hunt said. "I'm not going to lie to you, I was just trying to get in the end zone. ... I just tried to score, even though it didn't count."

Hunt laughed at the play, as did teammates. Of course, it's easier to goof over such an odd, hilarious play when Miami came away with a big 22-10 victory over the favorite Ravens.

"That was good effort," Tagovailoa said. "He tried to be an athlete. He tried to make a play. But, you know, it's illegal in the NFL ... but props to him for trying to make a play."

If that play isn't on every season-long highlight recap of an already topsy-turvy NFL year, the editors aren't doing their jobs correctly.

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