Damon Harrison mentioned a number of former teammates he was looking forward to seeing when his new squad, the Giants, faced his old one, the Jets. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was not one of the players he named, but Harrison re-introduced himself to the quarterback in a special way just the same.
Harrison sacked Fitzpatrick and forced a fumble in the first quarter, making an early impact play in Saturday night’s game at MetLife Stadium. Jonathan Hankins scooped up the fumble for the Giants, which kept the Jets from scoring after they blocked a punt and began their drive at the Giants’ 15.
Despite his close relationship with many Jets players, Harrison said he didn’t do much trash talking during the week leading up to this game.
“I told them we’re just going to leave that for Saturday,” he said.
And he did.
Not so special
While the offense had its woes moving the ball, the Giants’ special teams suffered several breakdowns in the first half. Brad Wing’s first punt was blocked when it appeared RB Orleans Darkwa missed a block allowing Bruce Carter to charge up the middle. Wing’s next punt was downed at the 11, but a holding penalty against Dwayne Harris gave the Jets the ball at the 21. Then, in the second quarter, Harris, the Giants’ special teams ace, missed a tackle on Jeremy Ross that led to a 28-yard return.
Harrison, who is a key element in the Giants’ defensive plans for 2016, left the field and went to the locker room after the fumble. A worrisome injury? Nope. The Giants radio broadcast reported that Harrison simply had to use the restroom . . . First-round pick Eli Apple was tested early by the Jets and did not allow a reception in the first half . . . Justin Pugh (shoulder) did not play but went through a lengthy pregame warm-up. Bobby Hart started in his place at left guard . . . S Mykkele Thompson (concussion), S Darian Thompson (shoulder), TE Will Johnson (burner) and TE Matt LaCosse (knee) did not dress for the game . . . LB Jonathan Casillas (ribs), CB Leon Hall (concussion) and LB B.J. Goodson (concussion evaluation) left the game in the first quarter.