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SportsColumnistsBob Glauber

Logan Ryan, wife Ashley will cherish Giants' win forever after 'extremely emotional week'

Logan Ryan of the Giants reacts after making

Logan Ryan of the Giants reacts after making an interception in the fourth quarter against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on Nov. 8 in Landover, Md. Credit: Getty Images/Greg Fiume

Ashley Ryan had a simple favor to ask of her husband before he took the field for the Giants in Sunday’s game against Washington at FedEx Field.

She spoke to the 29-year-old defensive back from the couple’s home in New Jersey, where she was resting after one of the most difficult weeks of their lives.

Just days earlier, she’d undergone emergency surgery after experiencing severe abdominal pain that prompted the Giants’ medical staff to urge her to seek treatment. Doctors discovered she was pregnant, but because it was an ectopic pregnancy, surgery was needed to save her life.

The couple lost the baby.

Ashley nearly lost her life.

"It was an extremely emotional week with my wife," Ryan said a few minutes after the Giants’ 23-20 win. "She’s a fighter. Not to lose her there in that situation, very fortunate. At the same time, my wife and I mourn in silence of our lost child during that process."

Ryan dedicated the game to his family, writing her name on his cleats and thinking of their ordeal while still trying to concentrate on his responsibilities as a Giants safety.

Now, about that favor.

"Bring a ball home for me and the kids," she told him.

Ryan did as asked, intercepting Alex Smith with 1:15 left to seal the Giants’ second win of the season and allow them to gain ground on the Eagles atop the underperforming NFC East.

Ryan stepped in front of wide receiver Terry McLaurin at the Washington 45 and ran it back to the 30, where he fell to the ground as defenders zeroed in on him.

After getting up, he ran toward the end zone, smiled for a television camera and cradled the ball in his arms. "That was for you, baby," he told his wife.

After he dressed, Ryan texted a picture from the locker room showing his white sneakers with the name "Ash" written on the left and "Ozzy" on the right. The couple would have named the baby "Ozzy."

Ashley, who was at home with their children, Avery and Otto, posted the picture on her Instagram account and wrote the following inscription: "This has been a difficult, painful, emotional week. But never for one second do I question how blessed I am to have found what we have @loganryan. Ozzy would have had the greatest father . . . and I know he knows it . . . I love you . . . and Avery and Otto with all my heart. See you soon, and we will all heal, together."

It was and will continue to be an emotional roller coaster for the couple, but rest assured that the game ball will be a touching reminder of the love that binds this family together. The love that will get them through their ordeal.

Perhaps their experience will serve as another reminder to anyone who watches the game that the men who play it have families and feelings and circumstances that we sometimes forget, and that they must persevere through real-life challenges like everyone else.

"I think it’s easier said than done," Ryan said when asked how difficult it was to compartmentalize his feelings and concentrate on football. "There was no doubt in my mind if my wife was in stable condition, I was going to play this game. I play for my family, and me playing brings me a lot of joy, and it brings my family a lot of joy. No one really knows what I went through this week emotionally, but I definitely wanted to do something for my wife and kids in that situation."

There was no better moment for Ryan to send his love on the football field. It was a play that he actually had convinced defensive coordinator Patrick Graham the night before the game to run. Ryan would pretend to drop off into a deeper zone coverage, allowing McLaurin to momentarily get open and prompt Smith to throw toward him. But at the last second, Ryan jumped the route and was in perfect position to make the interception.

And to deliver a special message to a family mourning the loss of their unborn child, yet grateful that Ashley is still alive.

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