EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — For the first time in his nine-year NFL career, New York Giants cornerback Logan Ryan is going into the final game of the regular season knowing his season is over.
Even when his teams fell short of the playoffs, Ryan always put on his pads and gear for the final game with a shot at the postseason — including last season, his first with the Giants.
With the 4-12 record heading into a game against Washington Sunday at MetLife Stadium, the Giants’ playoff hopes ended weeks ago.
“I’ve realized how fortunate I’ve been in my career that other players have to experience this, and I don’t like experiencing this, honestly,” Ryan said Thursday. “I’d like to play a lot more football than this.”
Ryan has missed the playoffs only three times. He got to the postseason his first four seasons in New England and his first year with the Titans. He missed in 2018 when Tennessee was beaten by Indianapolis on the final night of the regular season and the Colts got the sixth and then-final playoff spot in the AFC.
The Titans got to the playoffs again in 2019, but Ryan’s two seasons with the Giants have been fruitless. New York had a shot at the postseason last year in the weak NFC East when it finished 6-10, but Washington won the division on the final night with a 7-9 record.
Ryan said he has looked around this week knowing the end is in sight and liked what he has seen.
“I just think it’s been great energy this week and guys have really been hanging out a lot more, knowing that we don’t have another week together,” he said. “Guys have really been embracing this and hanging in the building longer and putting the work in to make the last performance a good one.”
Defensive coordinator Pat Graham said Thursday he realized this week will be the last time he coaches this group. Some players won’t be back.
“That’s why we’ve got to enjoy every moment,” he said. “This is the last Thursday meeting I’m going to have with the guys (media). Tomorrow is the last Friday meeting. Today’s the last Thursday practice. You think about it, it gets kind of sad sometimes because you know you’re not going to see the whole group again. Again, it’s a business, we’re playing football, we’re coaching football, but I spend more time with them than I do my family, so you get close with these guys.”
Graham said his biggest thrill is seeing players succeed. It’s what drives him through periods when he admittedly gets cranky and becomes “a miserable dude.” He wants them to win games.
“When you start to get toward the end of the year and we didn’t get to where we wanted to get to, it gets a little sad,” Graham said.
NOTES: WR Kadarius Toney (shoulder) did not practice on Thursday after being limited Wednesday. FB Cullen Gillaspia (knee), DL Austin Johnson (foot) and WR John Ross (knee) did not practice for the second straight day. DL Dexter Lawrence (COVID-19 ramp-up) and WR Collin Johnson (hamstring) were both limited after not practicing Wednesday. … C Billy Price returned to practice after missing last week’s loss at Chicago because of a family emergency. … The Giants placed practice squad DB Dwayne Johnson on the COVID-19 list. WR Dante Pettis was removed from the list, though he remains on injured reserve.
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