On Thursday, New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, when asked about the absence from cornerback Eli Apple from the starting defense, said he wouldn’t call Apple’s absence “a benching.”
Well, maybe not a traditional benching in response to Apple’s struggles so far this season, but according to a report by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Apple was indeed benched, though for disciplinary reasons.
Appearing on Saturday morning’s edition of Good Morning Football, Garafolo reported that Apple drew the punishment after “speaking back to one of the coaches” during the practice week.
Garafolo also reported that Apple lost his cool on the Giants bench last week against the Chargers, with the second-year cornerback having reportedly mouthed off to a team official, an action that will likely cost Apple playing time this week against Denver.
— GMFB (@gmfb) October 14, 2017
Garafolo, citing sources, said Apple’s incident occurred in the second half, after teammate Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left the bench area in frustration, an action for which he was disciplined. Apple apparently was frustrated after coming off the field when someone on the Giants sideline said something to him he didn’t like.
Apple then reportedly shouted back to that person, who was thought to be in the vicinity of Chris Mara, the bother of team co-owner John Mara, thus opening another can of worms which could result in Apple facing more disciplinary action Sunday night against Denver.
Apple spoke to reporters after last week’s game, clearly frustrated by his predicament.
“I wasn’t happy. To me, that’s what happens. You lose games and it’s got to be someone else’s problem and they look around and think, ‘OK, this is the problem.’ But it’s not just one guy – it’s the whole culture, it’s everything. We’ve got to fix it,” he said.
Apple’s issue with the coaching staff comes fresh on the heels of Rodgers-Cromartie’s disciplinary issues. Last week, Rodgers-Cromartie reportedly walked out of the Giants facility early on Friday. He then left the bench area in the second half of the game last Sunday, reportedly all set to leave the stadium until he was coaxed back onto the field.
McAdoo advised Rodgers-Cromartie Tuesday that he would be inactive this weekend against the Broncos as punishment for leaving the bench area early. Rodgers-Cromartie them left the facility early again on Wednesday after showing up for work, promoting McAdoo and the Giants to announce the veteran cornerback was suspended indefinitely.
McAdoo, who didn’t brief the team about Rodgers-Cromartie’s absence until Friday, told reporters that he planned to revisit the situation with Rodgers-Cromartie early next week.