The New York Giants announced on Wednesday that cornerback Eli Apple would be suspended for the final game of the season for “a pattern of behavior that is conduct detrimental to the team.”
The suspension comes a day after his teammate Landon Collins called him a “cancer.”
“There is only one corner who needs to grow up and we all know who that is,” Collins said on 98.7 FM in New York, via Jordan Ranaan of ESPN.com. “That would be the only person I would change out of our secondary group. Besides, the other two guys, [Dominique Rodgers-Cromarie] and [Janoris Jenkins], I love those two guys. They play hard. They love what they do. That first pick ... He’s a cancer.”
Collins apologized the next day via Twitter:
I met with Coach Spags and Eli this morning and I apologized for the things I said yesterday. I never stop supporting my brother/teammate Eli and the rest of my teammates as we move forward. Just want him to know I'm always here for him @EliApple13— LANDON COLLINS (@TheHumble_21) December 27, 2017
Interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo said that the trio had settled things Wednesday. “(Landon and I) had a quick conversation this morning and then I had a quick conversation with Eli,” said Spagnuolo. “And then all three of us had a really good conversation and it was very productive and I’ll just leave it at that. It’s between them and they were really great.”
However, when approached by the media, Apple didn’t exactly have anything constructive to say:
That may have been one contributing factor to the suspension, but we have a better idea of what it acutally was:
Point of clarification: the exchange Eli Apple had with the assistant coach came before he declined to take scout-team reps. Misunderstood the timeline. My bad on that.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 27, 2017
Things apparently also got heated at practice between Apple and cornerbacks coach Tim Walton on Wednesday:
I was told Apple had to be restrained by teammates during an argument with Walton at practice today. Not the first time the two have squabbled. https://t.co/qGgNrhRGip— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) December 27, 2017
Apple’s suspension is just another example of a Giants defensive back serving a team-implemented suspension. Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were previously suspended one game apiece.
However, Spagnuolo seems willing to work with Apple on the recent issues:
Spags: The suspension of Eli Apple is unfortunate...it's a family matter and that's the way I look at it...I'm in the business of restoring and rehabbing and not breaking down. #NYGiants— New York Giants (@Giants) December 28, 2017
Apple, the former No. 10 overall pick in 2016, started in 11 of his 14 games during his rookie season, but was benched a few times this season.
Most recently, he was benched against the Cardinals in Week 16 and played strictly special teams.
Apple has been going through personal issues in his life recently as well. His mother Annie underwent brain surgery in November, as well as her divorce from his stepfather Tim, who raised Apple since he was 2.
While there was tension between Apple and former head coach Ben McAdoo, it appears that wasn’t the entire problem with his time in New York.