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Giants’ notebook: Logan Ryan not a fan of turf fields

We also touch on special teams play, DeAndre Baker, Matt Peart, and more

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants
Blake Martinez suffered a season-ending non-contact knee injury at MetLife Stadium earlier this season.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s clear out the notebook today with some notes and quotes from the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs in advance of their Monday Night Football matchup.

Logan Ryan not a fan of turf fields

Giants’ veteran defensive back Logan Ryan is no fan of turf fields, like the one the Giants play on at MetLife Stadium.

“It’s just too many lower body injuries on turf. The discrepancy is way too high and it’s taking guys earnings away, their earning ability away, when you miss a season because your ankle can’t get out of the turf or your knee can’t get out of the turf. So, it’s unfortunate,” Ryan said this week in answer to a question about the season-ending injury suffered by Jabrill Peppers.

“I mean, our turf is like any other turf. I think a lot of the turfs are bad. I don’t think they’re bad, I just think they’re not as good as grass. They’re turf. They are what they are ... a lot of guys get high-ankle sprains and tear their knees every year on turf. If it happens on grass, it happens on grass. Grass has the ability to move a little bit move than turf. Our turf to anybody else’s, players don’t like playing on turf. If you had a poll, the players don’t like playing on it. It is what it is. We play on it, but it’s just unfortunate when you see that stuff happen.”

Thomas McGaughey: “They pay you to play football”

Don’t even try telling Giants’ special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey that front-line players like Peppers should not be exposed in the kicking game.

“You take a risk when you step out in between those white lines. They pay you to play football. They don’t say, ‘Okay, you can only play this part, but you can’t play that part,’ “ McGaughey said. “It’s a game. You get paid to play the game. We’re trying to win games and we’re going to play the best players.

“Thing about it is, in this game, you don’t know when the game changing play is going to happen, and you don’t know who is going to make it. The game doesn’t care who makes the play, we do. We just want to make sure that we’ve got guys in the game that can plays, regardless of quote unquote, injuries or whatever. We’re trying to win games. Whatever we’ve got to got to do to win a game, we’ll do what we’ve got to do to win a game.

Running out of returners

Peppers and C.J. Board, the Giants’ primary return men this season, are now both on injured reserve. Dante Pettis is now the primary return man. Darnay Holmes is returning kickoffs for the first time since early in his college career. John Ross may get an opportunity on kickoff return.

Then, there is rookie Kadarius Toney. The Giants have always looked at Toney as a player they would like to use in the return game. Injuries and the resulting lack of practice time have thus far prevented that from happening.

Whenever he is healthy enough, McGaughey said this week the Giants would “absolutely” use him in the return game.

“That’s what he’s here for. You can’t draft a guy and say, ‘Oh, this guy has great return ability. He can do all of this,’ and then as soon as he gets here, ‘Oh, we can’t put him on punt return. He’s made out of glass, he’s going to hurt himself,’ “ McGaughey said. “He’s a football player. You watch him catch the ball, catch a slant, he’s hard to bring down. Guys like that are a threat. The Tyreek Hill’s of the world are threats. They have coaches up at night thinking about how they’re going to stop the threat. No, we’re just going to try to use our best players and try and win games.

DeAndre Baker’s second chance

The Giants traded up in the 2019 NFL Draft to get cornerback DeAndre Baker in the first round. After a single season of poor play combined with a questionable work ethic, a coaching change and an offseason incident in which he was ultimately cleared of robbery charges, the Giants moved on.

Kansas City gave Baker a second chance. He played in just two games last season, suffering a broken leg in Week 17. He has played in four games thus far this season for the Chiefs.

“He’s done a nice job. He’s come in here and worked and done everything we’ve asked him, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. “He had that horrendous broken leg that he had last year. He’s still kind of really working through that as he goes. He’s had a few snaps for us, but I think it gets a little tired on him still. But he sure has done a nice job for us.”

Matt Peart owns his mistake

Giants’ left tackle Matt Peart had a costly ineligible man downfield penalty Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, getting way out in front of the line of scrimmage on an RPO pass to Darius Slayton. The penalty negated a 10-yard gain and cost the Giants a first down.

The second-year man from UConn took responsibility this week.

“I was already down the field. That was just a lapse on my part,” Peart said on Thursday. “I got on the sideline, made the corrections and I promise you that will never happen to me ever again. But yeah, that was completely on me.”