Logan Ryan finally can call himself a “captain” instead of just a “leader.”
Few NFL players carry the responsibility of leadership like a badge of honor as proudly as Ryan, who had never been voted to wear the “C” on his jersey during the first eight years of his career. That changed Monday when coach Joe Judge revealed the Giants’ seven team-voted co-captains as the final act of practice.
“One thing I like about here is Joe says … don’t waste a vote,” Ryan said. “If you are new here and you don’t really know who has earned it, we’re not going to have everyone vote. It’s not going to be a popularity contest.”
Quarterback Daniel Jones, running back Saquon Barkley, center Nick Gates, safety Jabrill Peppers, linebacker Blake Martinez and kicker Graham Gano were the others selected. Gates is a first-timer, and Gano is a first-timer for the Giants.
“I would probably give Daniel the offseason award-winner,” Ryan said. “I think he outworked me. He did a great job.”
Ryan was one of the Giants’ leaders on the field and in the locker room last season. He probably is the voice fans hear the most at news conferences. He is a team representative for the NFL Players Association.
But he wasn’t a captain last year because he signed as a free agent at the end of training camp.
“There’s no change in my day-to-day,” Ryan said. “My peers voted for me, and I don’t want to disappoint them. I think there is a big responsibility you have to have as a leader of the locker room to make sure the coaching staff and players are on the same page.”
The entire 53-man roster was accounted for at practice, which confirms Judge’s initial belief that the Giants avoided any COVID-19 positive test results after some players traveled during a long holiday weekend.
The Cowboys will be without vaccinated All-Pro guard Zach Martin in Thursday’s season opener after he tested positive — a harsh reality check for the rest of the NFL.
“We just talked to our team in a squad meeting about being safe,” Judge said. “It’s the same conversation that we started camp with. There are protocols in place whether you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated. We’ll support everybody as long as you follow the protocols. Our team has done a tremendous job. We haven’t had to have one meeting this training camp in terms of telling guys to space out or put on masks.”
CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle), TE Evan Engram (calf) and TE Kaden Smith (unknown) worked with trainers off to the side of practice. Judge expressed an “optimistic” viewpoint on all injured players, but Engram appears to have a longer way to go than Jackson, who was running sprints.
“It’s good to get [Jackson] back this week,” Ryan said, “so we can start running our stuff together.”
OL Billy Price (acquired in a trade last Monday) and WR Collin Johnson (claimed off waivers Wednesday) made their practice debuts. Price was awaiting clearance of the COVID-19 entry protocol.