Darius Slayton finds way to make impact for Giants despite being sick

Darius Slayton was sick in the days leading into Sunday’s 20-20 overtime tie with the Commanders at MetLife Stadium. Despite the illness, he was able to play and he led the Giants with six catches for 90 yards. He had one of the few offensive highlights of the day for his team, a leaping grab for 55 yards in the second quarter that set up a Saquon Barkley touchdown.

Slayton also failed to make a play that could have made the Giants winners.

The Giants got the ball with 1:45 remaining in regulation and nearly got a chunk play to put them near position for a game-winning field goal attempt. Daniel Jones looked deep for Slayton down the left side and Slayton was running free. He leaped for the ball, had it in his hands for a moment but did not control it as it slid into his body and came loose as he hit the ground.

“I had it and I lost it somewhere on my way to the ground,” Slayton said, “I just wasn’t able to secure it. I’ve got to find a way to bring it in.”

Slayton, continuing his resurgent season, was able to bring in a more difficult catch in the second quarter, when he shed cornerback Christian Holmes and then out-fought Darrick Forrest on his 55-yard reception.

“As usual, DJ gave me a ball to make a play on,’’ Slayton said.

Darius Slayton makes a catch for the Giants against the Commanders.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Slayton said he had to concentrate on staying hydrated late in the week and during the game.

“I’m sick,’’ he said, “but I’m not dying.’’

Graham Gano’s 58-yard field-goal attempt at the overtime buzzer was short. He knew from his pregame workout that such a long kick was beyond his range, given the conditions.

“In warm-ups off the holder I hit a 55 [-yard kick] that bounced in off the crossbar that way,” said Gano, who once beat the Giants with a 63-yard field goal when he was with the Panthers. “Ball wasn’t really traveling far that way. It’s December, it’s into the wind. Wish it went further but I hit a good ball, no regrets about how I hit it. Just didn’t have the distance.”

Graham Gano reacts after missing a field goal as time expired.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

OLB Azeez Ojulari played for the first time since Week 4 and was relentless, with one sack and two quarterback hits in a limited role off the bench. … The Giants played most of the second half and all of OT without DT Leonard Williams, who was forced out with a neck injury. … LB Tae Crowder, who was a starter earlier this season and now is relegated to special teams, took to Twitter after the game to post “Free Me.’’ … Commanders QB Taylor Heinicke on the tie: “Very weird,’’ he said. “It feels like a loss, but it doesn’t count as one, so that’s the only positive in this game.’’

Odell Beckham Jr. will visit on Monday with the Cowboys after meeting last week with the Giants and Bills. Thus far, Beckham has not received a contract offer, according to NFL Network.

There were a few surprises among the Giants seven inactive players. CB Darnay Holmes, the slot corner in 11 games this season, was not in uniform. Coach Brian Daboll said Holmes was dealing with a shoulder injury. TE Lawrence Cager, a starter, also was inactive, as Daniel Bellinger returned after missing four games with an eye injury. WR Kenny Golladay, who came down with an illness late in the week, was scratched. … DE Chase Young, listed as questionable, was held out by the Commanders coming off ACL surgery.


Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns. None of his 27 completions on 41 passes were bigger than a scrambling fourth-and-4 throw on the tying 90-yard touchdown drive.


Head coaches Brian Daboll and Ron Rivera both played for the tie in overtime, with the Giants punting on a fourth-and-3 and Washington happy to run clock on its only possession backed up against its end zone.

Unsung Hero

Giants pass rusher Azeez Ojulari had two quarterback hits, including a strip-sack and fumble recovery that set up the Giants for their only second-half touchdown.

Key stat

8 Field goals missed by Graham Gano on 90 attempts in three years with the Giants, but the eighth was a 58-yarder on the final play of the game

Quote Of The Day

“It was super random, just looking around like, you didn’t even realize it was over. It was like ‘All right, ‘It’s over, everyone can leave now.’ And we just walked out.”

— Kayvon Thibodeaux on the feeling of a tie

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