Eli Apple is out of the doghouse.
Well, that may be stretching it. But Apple, 22, the Giants’ second-year corner, was active Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles for the first time in five weeks, making his first appearance in a game since Nov. 12 in Santa Clara against the San Francisco 49ers.
Interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo apparently put Apple’s disciplinary issues aside, most recently Apple’s Thursday accusation that teammate Landon Collins had lied Wednesday about counseling the troubled Apple.
Apple, the Giants’ 10th-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, was listed with injuries at points in his four-game scratch stretch, but he was sidelined by ex-coach Ben McAdoo initially and primarily due to perceived lack of effort on the field and disobedience, as chronicled by a report two days after Thanksgiving that Apple had threatened to walk out on the team over criticism in a meeting.
Eli Apple starts Sunday for the first time in five weeks.
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Apple’s issues moved into the spotlight when he stood and watched and actually backed up as the Rams’ Robert Woods fired past for a 52-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-33 in Week 9 at MetLife Stadium. He then had several poor efforts in the Week 10 road loss to the Niners.
The following Wednesday he had several of his poor plays against San Fran put up on the video screen in front of the team. Teammates reportedly criticized Apple, and he reportedly threatened to walk out.
That incident happened on Nov. 15. Apple’s mother Annie underwent brain surgery on Nov. 16. And he proceeded to sit out until dressing Sunday against the Eagles.
Davis Webb remains inactive for the Giants.
It’s possible Apple only was active because corner Brandon Dixon, while active, has been battling heel and hamstring issues. And the Giants are thin at that important position. Apple was born in Philadelphia and played his high school ball in Voorhees, N.J.
Collins, by the way, listed as doubtful with an ankle injury, nevertheless was active on Sunday as the Giants (2-11) met the Eagles (11-2) in Philly’s first game with Nick Foles starting in place of the sidelined Carson Wentz (torn ACL, out for season).
The Giants’ inactive list surprisingly included running back Paul Perkins and of course incredibly continued to include rookie QB Davis Webb for a 14th straight week. Also on the list were safety Nat Berhe (hamstring), wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring), offensive lineman Damien Mama, wide receiver Hunter Sharp and linebacker Jeremy Cash.