The true professional can somehow find a way to summon a courage he probably didn’t know he had, and hide the pain from the tragedy unfolding in his personal life from team and teammates.
Only after Logan Ryan publicly thanked the Giants for saving his wife Ashley’s life, he authored a most inspirational ending to Giants 23. Washington Football Team 20.
Logan Ryan sealed Sunday’s win with an interception of Alex Smith, who nearly lost his own life and career following a gruesome leg injury and had come off the bench to throw his first touchdown pass since Nov. 11, 2018.
Ashley, back from Florida, back from her ectopic surgery, back with the haunting memory of a boy lost, was resting back in New Jersey on the Sunday that Logan stood tall as The Pride of the Giants.
He volunteered that he wore her name on his cleats. He didn’t need to tell anyone that he also wore ASHLEY in his heart.
He reiterated how grateful he was to the Giants and trainer Justin Maher for imploring her to get to the hospital at a time when she was in unbearable pain and bleeding internally, and how fortunate they were that she had survived, and called his Rutgers college sweetheart and mother of their two children, Avery (5) and Otto (2), a fighter.
“At the same time,” Ryan added, “my wife and I mourn in silence of our lost child during that process too, so we had a loss as well. Although it’s a great story, it was an emotional week for me and her, and that game was definitely for my wife, it was definitely for my family.
“I had her name written on my cleats. Just extremely grateful that I have a great wife.
“That ball’s for her. She told me to bring one home for her, so I was able to do that.”
He had spoken to her on Sunday morning, and this was a burden that might have been too big to bear for many, but not for Logan Ryan.
“I think it’s easier said than done,” Ryan said. “There was no doubt in my mind if my wife was in stable condition I was gonna play this game because I play for my family. And me playing ball brings me a lot of joy and it brings my family a lot of joy.
“She was watching the game and she just knows me and she just says, ‘Bring a ball home for me and the kids.’
“I visualized it all week. No one really knows what I went through all week emotionally, but the team supported me great, and I definitely wanted to do something for my kids on this situation. … I tried my best to try to separate it and make my family proud.”
The Giants were reeling. A 20-3 lead was 23-20 and Daniel Jones could not deliver the knockout punch. Jones finally didn’t commit a turnover and refused to fumble on a blind-side sack by Kamren Curl that could have been catastrophic.
Jabrill Peppers had intercepted Smith on the previous series, but Jones went three-and-out. So Smith was given this last chance at his 28 with 1:48 and one timeout left.
Joe Judge had raged at his wobbling defense on the sideline to finish a damn game for a change, and it was poetic justice that Logan Ryan finished the game for the Giants, 2-7 and still breathing, still dreaming in the NFC East. “We’re done coming up short,” Ryan said.
His game-saver came on a play defensive coordinator Patrick Graham had installed on Saturday night.
“The play that we ran is something that I talked to Pat Graham about doing and putting me in that position to make that play,” Ryan said.
“In the first half, I messed up, I wasn’t there, they [Cam Sims] ran a 32-yard incut in that two-minute, that was my fault, that was my job there. And I told Pat, ‘Hey, that’s on me, call it again and I’ll be there. I’ll make it right.’ ”
He made it right. He had pressured Smith on a blitz on Peppers’ pick. Judge has known Logan Ryan long enough to know that he makes it right much more often than not.
“Logan’s a very mentally tough football player, he’s a great team leader, does a lot of things behind the scenes that people don’t know or see that Logan really brings to a team,” Judge said.
“We talk a lot to our players about overcoming adversity. There’s a guy that overcame adversity on the field this week, made big plays, but really off the field is where it started.
“And the things that he had away from the building, he never brings it in, he comes on in, you can ask him how it is, he’s always gonna tell you everything’s going great even though you know it’s not.
“He puts the team first when he’s in the building, he’s all business, and he always takes time to personally check on his teammates. I couldn’t tell you how glad I am to have Logan on this team and how valuable it is to us.”
The Washington Football Team has become the Washington Generals for Jones and the Giants. An undrafted wide receiver named Austin Mack made the train trio that Golden Tate was not permitted to make. Wayne Gallman and Alfred Morris rushed for a combined 135 yards. Sometimes behind three rookie offensive linemen. Madre Harper recovered a fumble at the WFT 16.
But it could have all been for naught. But in the Giants’ most desperate hour, Logan Ryan was there for the Giants. Just as they had been there for him.
“I’m not married, so I can’t imagine what he was going through or feeling,” Peppers said. “To be honest with you, you wouldn’t even tell by the way he comes to work every day. He’s a leader, he has the experience, and he’s hard on us. He’s a pro’s pro. We pray for his family. I’m just happy for him that he could come out here in the game for us after such an emotional week for him. I can only imagine what he was going through.”
The TV cameras showed Ryan pointing to the sky in celebration at the end and rocking the football and saying: “That’s for you, babe. That’s for you, baby.” Ryan’s Song.
Share this article:
Source: Read Full Article