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Giants Week 3 Q&A: Evan Engram booed by fans, then leaves field to Bronx cheers

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram during

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, at MetLife Stadium. Credit: AP/Seth Wenig

Evan Engram returned from a calf injury that caused him to miss the first two games of the season. Was he cheered on Sunday?

Yes, but in the worst way possible. The crowd at MetLife Stadium, whose sourness on the former first-round pick was only amplified by his fumble late in the first half, applauded whenever he left the field during personnel shifts. It was an ugly reminder of their distaste for the tight end who was booed lustily in the second half when he failed to catch a pass that was tipped away from him.

"I don’t think that was deserved," quarterback Daniel Jones said of the treatment his teammate received. "I’m not sure I really understood that. He played hard all game and fought back from an injury a few weeks ago to be out there."

Have the Giants themselves given up on Engram the way the fans have?

No. "He’s a big-time player for us," Jones said. "I think he knows how much we believe in him and how much I believe in him."

So Engram is the least popular person in the organization according to fans?

If he has any competition in that area it would be co-owner John Mara. He was booed when he spoke during an otherwise joyful celebration at halftime to retire Eli Manning’s number.

"I would boo to," Mara told reporters on his way off the field from the ceremony. "We’re 0-2 and down [7-6] at the half."

What happened on the interception missed by Adoree’ Jackson?

"I just dropped it," the cornerback said of his bungled opportunity to convert an easy takeaway with the Giants ahead by a touchdown and 5:01 remaining. "I was really [mad]."

Two plays later Logan Ryan was flagged for pass interference on Kyle Pitts in the end zone to set up the tying touchdown. What happened there?

"Matt Ryan threw the ball to what felt like the first row, really high, and I knew that dude was a lot taller than me," Ryan said. "I climbed the ladder to make a play on the ball … I think it’s bang-bang. Let us play. I’m playing the ball."

Was that the most egregious penalty called against the Giants?

No. There were others that looked worse, including two personal fouls. One was on a punt return against Gary Brightwell when he was flagged for a hit out of bounds that seemed to be initiated inbounds. The most costly, though, was a personal foul on Xavier McKinney late in the second quarter that added 15 yards to a drive that eventually ended in an Atlanta touchdown. Replays indicated it was a clear shoulder-to-shoulder hit.

"It’s hard to play defense nowadays," teammate Ryan said. "Physicality is not rewarded anymore… If it looks bad they’re gonna call it. That’s how you teach it. It was [expletive]."

Who’ll get fined more off that play, McKinney for the hit or Ryan for the public complaint?

McKinney may escape the league’s wrath. Ryan is less likely to do so.

New York Sports