ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- About fifteen minutes after the Buffalo Bills came from behind to defeat the Carolina Panthers, 24-23, fullback Frank Summers sat deep in his locker, facing the room. He was dressed, but not quite ready to leave.
It was the sort of look you would expect from a player after a tough loss. After all, the Bills' close win came only after Summers committed a critical holding penalty on a fourth-and-18 punt in the third quarter, leading to a Panthers touchdown.
Though only scored as a 6-yard infraction, the flag came before the punt, giving the Panthers an automatic first down.
"The call ... it all surprised me," Summers said. "Real tough call. On [special] teams you're trying to hold up people."
A squat 5-foot-9, 248-pound bruiser, Summers has the prototypical fullback build. Pittsburgh drafted him in the fifth round in 2009, and he played in three games before a back injury ended his rookie season. After stints on the Steelers' and San Diego's practice squads the next two seasons, Summers spent last season out of football.
The Bills resurrected his career this offseason, and after not playing an offensive snap on opening day, Summers was a big part of the game plan Sunday.
"Going into the game, we watched the film and they gave out the game plan. I looked it over. There was a big '21' [two running backs, one tight end] package in," he said. "I was excited. Felt like I could make up from last week. Given the opportunities, I just wanted to take advantage of them."
Lining up on offense for the first time in four seasons, Summers made the most of his chance early, rumbling for 34 yards on a catch-and-run on the Bills' first play from scrimmage.
His second half, though, was rough. Summers' special-teams penalty led to Panthers points, and later in the third quarter he allowed Panthers safety Quintin Mikell to strip-sack quarterback EJ Manuel, with Carolina recovering the fumble deep in Bills' territory.
"It was a down time for me. Football is not a sprint, it's a marathon," Summers said. "You have to let that play go and go onto the next, just make sure you don't make the mistake again."