CLEVELAND -- New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell punctuated his return to Cleveland with two first-half touchdowns and celebrated with a distasteful gesture that resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
After scoring his second touchdown, a 2-yard run with 7:59 left in the second quarter, Crowell used the football to wipe his rear end, then tossed the ball into the stands. The celebration earned him a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
"That was inexcusable," Jets coach Todd Bowles said. "We addressed it. It will never happen again."
Besides the two scoring runs, Crowell was bottled up for most of the night, finishing with 34 yards on 16 carries. The Browns went on to win 21-17.
This figured to be an emotional night for Crowell, who spent his first four seasons with the Browns. He left as a free agent in March, signing with the Jets.
Crowell said afterward that the celebration was not rehearsed. He also said it had nothing to do with the game being in Cleveland.
"You have to play the game with passion," he said. "That's how I play. I did it, so I have to suffer whatever consequence come with it.
"I just have to control myself. I don't feel like it had anything to do with the stadium I was at. I just feel like it happened in the spur of the moment."
Asked if he thought the celebration would draw a penalty, Crowell said, "I didn't think it was, but I guess because I used the ball. [Bowles] said I can't be selfish. I can't do my teammates like that. I understood exactly what he was saying, and I agree."
In three weeks, Crowell already has two multiple-touchdown games. His first TD came on the first play of the second quarter Thursday night, as he helped the Jets to a 7-0 lead with a 7-yard scoring run. He celebrated that touchdown by firing a perfect spiral deep into the end zone seats.
Interestingly, Crowell had two touchdowns in the Browns' last win, 635 days ago -- Dec. 24, 2016.
Minutes after Crowell's penalty, the Jets were flagged again for unsportsmanlike conduct. After a third-down incompletion, cornerback Trumaine Johnson shoved the ball into the belly of Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry, resulting in a 15-yard penalty.