Falcons' Ryan grateful for health of wife, twins
Sarah Ryan revealed on Instagram she was placed on hospital bed rest on Jan. 9 due to those complications. Six weeks later, she gave birth to the couple’s first children. The twin boys were in the NICU — an intensive care unit specializing in the care of ill or premature newborn infants — for more than a month each. Sarah Ryan thanked the staff at Atlanta’s Northside Hospital for helping the family in a trying period as the “small but tough” boys fought through.
Matt Ryan expressed the same gratitude.
“Like any parent, obviously you want everything to go well,” he told ESPN on Monday at a celebrity golf event for charity. “We’re not alone in having gone through this. I know other families, parents, children go through things like this all the time. You just want things to shake out well, and we’re fortunate that they did. Obviously your mind really never leaves there because that’s the most important thing in your life — your family.”
Ryan missed the Jan. 9 practice leading into his team’s divisional playoff matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles to be by his wife’s side. Despite the circumstances, Ryan said he was able to focus upon returning to the team. The Falcons lost that weekend’s game against the eventual Super Bowl champions by a score of 15-10.
“It was one of those things, my mind was there,” Ryan said of not letting the situation weigh him down. “Even in the week we were playing in the playoffs, it was there. I felt like I was really well prepared for that game and played well.
“Yeah, it’s tough [missing practice]. At the same time, perspective is key. In the grand scheme of things, there’s more important things in life. I think we’d all agree that health and family are No. 1.”
When asked about the tense moments related to the health of the babies, Ryan admitted he was nervous without revealing details of what doctors told him could have happened.
“I mean, everybody is [nervous], I think, in those situations,” he said. “You want everything to go smooth, and sometimes it doesn’t. But it was OK.”
Asked if he’s relieved now, Ryan responded, “I imagine you never feel like that as a parent. You’re always worried about something. Obviously things have went really well for us. I’m just happy that they’re home and healthy. And my wife is doing great, too.”
Marshall Thomas Ryan, who carries his mother’s maiden name, was born first and followed by Johnny Matthew Ryan, named after family members named John on both sides. Marshall was sent home after five weeks in NICU while Johnny was sent home a week later, Sarah Ryan said in her post.
Matt Ryan, the 2016 MVP, is focused on making a return trip to the Super Bowl. He is in the final year of his contract, and the Falcons said extending him is a top priority without giving an exact timetable on completing the deal.
“I think things are good,” Ryan said of the contract talks. “Obviously, I’ve been through this before. I’ve always had the mindset that you kind of let your agents handle the business and let our front office take care of it. I think we have great people on both sides. I’m excited about that. I’m excited about being a Falcon for a long time.”