In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, former Seahawks and current Saskatchewan Roughriders punter Jon Ryan announced he has been diagnosed with skin cancer.
Speaking on the Growing the Game podcast, Ryan made the news public and indicated he's always been careful with protecting his skin.
“My mother lathered me in sun screen growing up, and I’ve always been very diligent,” Ryan told host Michael Ball. “I’ve gone once a year to the dermatologist to get a full-body scan to get everything checked, and I have a mark on my neck they’re a little concerned about, last year they froze it off, and it grew back even bigger, so they identified that it was skin cancer.”
Since hospitals are overwhelmed right now treating COVID-19 patients, the 38-year old Ryan won't undergo surgery until the crisis is under control, but he's optimistic about his prognosis moving forward.
“Luckily, it’s a pretty slow-moving cancer that the doctor’s very confident that he can wait until this coronavirus has swept through to be able to operate on.”
Ryan played 10 seasons for the Seahawks, appearing in 159 regular season games as well as two Super Bowls, including a victory over the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. He ranks first in franchise history in punts and punt yardage and was involved in one of the franchise's most memorable plays connecting with backup tackle Garry Gilliam for a touchdown pass on a fake field goal in the 2014 NFC Championship game.
After being released in August 2018, Ryan latched on with the Roughriders of the CFL, appearing in 18 games and averaging 48.8 yards per punt. He remains on the roster and plans to continue playing.