He was enjoying a solid season with the New York Giants, but midway through, he was forced to find a new landing spot.
Former Boise State cornerback Donte Deayon fought his way from undersized and undrafted to a place on the Giants’ 53-man roster the last two seasons. He spent 2016 on the team’s practice squad.
Deayon was released Oct. 16 and spent nearly two months without a job, but he found a place back on a practice squad — with a more successful team, the Los Angeles Rams.
On Sunday, he will be on the sideline as the Rams take on the Patriots in Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta, but won’t be playing. If they win, Deayon will get a ring ... of some sort.
According to a story published Friday by SB Nation, the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement says practice squad players can receive the real deal rings — or ones that at least look like it, that teams “may provide any practice squad player with a ring of lesser value.” The Eagles’ practice squad players got the same rings the rest of the team did last year.
As anyone who followed him at Boise State would easily guess, Deayon was still as gregarious as ever this week, even if he would just be practicing. He was interviewed by Atlanta radio station 680 FM The Fan on Monday during Super Bowl Opening Night.
“We’re at the Super Bowl, prepping for the Super Bowl,” Deayon said. “I’m excited, blood pressure’s up, anxiety’s up, I’m excited for this.”
Deayon (5-foot-9, 159 pounds) will try to find either another team or another shot at making the Rams’ roster after this season. Before his release, Deayon played in four games and had six tackles. He was ranked by Pro Football Focus as No. 5 in the NFL in receptions allowed per coverage snap just before being let go.
He spoke with the Idaho Statesman following a September game against the Cowboys and talked about his often-tenuous spot on the roster, saying, “That’s been the biggest thing — being ready ... and not only just going out there and playing, but going out there and making a difference.”
JAMES MAKES AAF ROSTER: Next Sunday will mark the debut of the Alliance of American Football, and one former Boise State player is in the league. Safety Chanceller James (2012-16) will play for the Salt Lake Stallions, coached by former Idaho coach Dennis Erickson.
FORMER BOISE STATE PLAYERS IN THE SUPER BOWL
1976: Rolly Woolsey, DB, Cowboys
1988: Markus Koch, DE, Redskins
1992: Koch, DE, Redskins*
2005: Quintin Mikell, DB, Eagles
2006: Kimo von Oelhoffen, DT, Steelers
2011: Korey Hall, FB, Packers; Daryn Colledge, G, Packers
2014: Ryan Clady, OT, Broncos*; Jeron Johnson, DB, Seahawks*
2015: Johnson, DB, Seahawks
2016: Matt Paradis, C, Broncos; Clady, OT, Broncos*
2017: Shea McClellin, LB, Patriots
2018: McClellin, LB, Patriots*; Jay Ajayi, RB, Eagles
2019: Donte Deayon, CB, Rams*
* - did not or will not play in Super Bowl