Buccaneers Saints Football

New Orleans Saints running back Mike Gillislee fumbles allowing for a Tampa Bay Buccaneers recovery returned for a touchdown, in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Veteran running back Mike Gillislee was brought to New Orleans to play a key role for the Saints while Mark Ingram serves his four-game suspension. 

Gillislee's first chance to make an impression didn't go as planned. 

With the Saints playing from behind and throwing the ball most of the game, Gillislee took just seven snaps, carried it three times for nine yards and made a costly mistake, a fumble on his third carry that Buccaneers safety Justin Evans picked up and returned for a touchdown. 

"It wasn't what I wanted, it wasn't what I expected," Gillislee said. "Nothing I visualized. I've got to overcome it this week."

The ball also nearly came loose on Gillislee's first carry. 

A veteran of five seasons in the NFL, Gillislee knows he's got to do a better job protecting the football if he wants to keep playing. 

"As far as my ball security, a turnover that they scored, that's something as a football player you just have to put it behind you and keep going forward," Gillislee said.

Gillislee will get another chance this week against Cleveland. 

"Every day I come in, the more I come in, the more I study, the more I understand the concepts and plays," Gillislee said. "I just feel more comfortable."

Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.