Will Tye caught three passes for 16 yards, experienced his first NFL regular-season opener, and helped the Giants beat the Cowboys.
Too bad he couldn’t enjoy any of it.
The tight end from Stony Brook University was sick with a stomach virus that showed up on Sunday morning in the team hotel in Dallas and was barely able to play in the game.
“It was the worst I’ve ever felt in my life,” he told Newsday. “[My stomach] was turning in knots. A strong headache. I almost sat out.”
It wasn’t until about an hour and a half before the game, when the team needed to file its inactives, that Tye felt he would be able to play. He fell asleep on the bus ride to AT&T Stadium, was routinely the last player off the bench when the offense got the ball, slowly walked off the field following his reps, and even after the victory slept for most of the bus ride and plane trip home.
“I felt like I had played 10 games already,” he said of being wiped out. “But I got through it and we came away with the win. That’s a huge plus.”
His illness altered the Giants’ game plan a bit. They planned to use a bit more two tight-end looks with Tye and Larry Donnell, but because of Tye’s limitations they went with three receivers for most of the game.
Tye said he is now feeling “10 times better” and can’t wait to get back on the field at full strength. If he can have a three-catch game while so sick, imagine what he can do when he’s feeling well.
“That’s why I’m even more excited,” he said. “There’s going to be some more running after the catch, that’s for sure. I played pretty good, but I just felt so bad. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.”