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Giants' Logan Ryan relayed defensive plays when Blake Martinez went down

Giants cornerback James Bradberry, left, and defensive back

Giants cornerback James Bradberry, left, and defensive back Logan Ryan, right, break up a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Seattle. The Giants won 17-12. Credit: AP/Elaine Thompson

The Giants won their last game without their starting quarterback… of the defense.

Linebacker Blake Martinez, the captain who normally calls the plays on the field, was sidelined with a lower back injury for the final drive in Seattle, so the Giants had to turn to another player to direct the traffic and coordinate the movements.

"I’m the backup quarterback," safety Logan Ryan said on Wednesday. "I get the green dot when Blake is down so I’m always excited a little bit. I hope he’s well, but anytime I get the green dot and get to call the huddle a little bit it takes me back to my quarterback days [on offense in high school]. It’s fun."

That "green dot" signifies which helmet has the radio transmitter that allows a player to hear the coordinator on the sideline and relay the calls to the rest of the team. So as the Seahawks were making their final attempts at beating the Giants on Sunday, it was Ryan who was in charge of getting them squared up and ultimately stopping the threat.

Ryan said his message to Martinez on Sunday was: "Hey, don’t worry about it, buddy. Don’t kill yourself to come back here. We need you and we’re going to win this game."

This week against the Cardinals, that might be the case as well. Martinez did not participate in Wednesday’s walk-through practice. Besides being the communication hub for the defense, Martinez also leads the Giants (and is fourth in the NFL) with 111 tackles.

"He was in meetings with us [Wednesday], had a smile on his face and laughing, so you can always cut it with Blake," Joe Judge said. "But obviously, guys are coming out of games, they’re banged up, they’re sore… When we get out there tomorrow it’ll kind of give us a better look in terms of guys that are dinged and bumped up in terms of how they can move around."

As for whether Martinez will be ready for Sunday, Judge said: "I hope so."

Notes & quotes: Next week’s game against the Browns was flexed to Sunday Night Football on NBC, marking the Giants’ first time on the league’s top prime time stage since Week 2 of 2018. While many saw it as a validation of the Giants as contenders, they themselves downplayed the change. "It means nothing," Ryan said, half-mocking disgust that he was asked about the Browns in a week when he is focusing on the Cardinals. Added Judge: "Right now, there’s a lot of talk about hypothetical games. We can’t sit here and live in some imaginary world and think about things that don’t exist yet. The Cardinals are very real, they’re getting on a plane, they’re coming to play us at MetLife and that’s what we have to get ready for" … Besides Martinez, OT Matt Peart (ankle) and DB Madre Harper (knee) were also held out of Wednesday’s workout. DB Darnay Holmes (knee) was limited.

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