clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Eli Apple back, but it doesn’t sound like he’s a full-time player

Spags says Apple’s use will “on what package we’re in”

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback Eli Apple will play for the New York Giants Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. With Janoris Jenkins and Donte Deayon both going to injured reserve this week, the Giants have no choice but to turn to the second-year corner who was inactive for the past two games.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo on Thursday sounded glad to have the 2016 first-round pick back, but didn’t commit to starting Apple or playing him a significant amount.

“Eli is back in the fold and depending on what package we’re in, you’ll see him out there. So, that’s a good thing. That’ll help us,” Spagnuolo said.

Here are some other takeaways from Spagnuolo’s remarks.

Hello, I’m one of your players

Five Giants’ defensive players went on IR this week. Combined with all of the new players added over the past two or three weeks, when Spagnuolo looks at at the field he admit he’s not even sure who’s out there.

“We got a lot of guys - yeah. There’s a lot of faces out there,” Spagnuolo said. “I thought I was in rookie mini-camp, you know, with learning the names. That’s normally when we have a sheet of paper with everybody’s face on it, but we got to work through that. There’s been some moving pieces.

“Our guys that have been here that know what we’re doing, some guys that are new are going to have to learn real quickly. You know, who knows what’s going to happen in the game. We might get another shoulder, an ankle or something. Somebody’s got to go in there. So, we fight through that like every other team does.”

The possible return of B.J. Goodson

Middle linebacker B.J. Goodson has not played since Week 7 due to an ankle injury, and has only played in five games this season. He has practiced on a limited basis this week, and it seems he might be able to play Sunday against Oakland.

“It seems like an awfully long time since we’ve had B.J. An awfully long time since you go back to Dallas when he had 18 tackles. We really miss that,” Spagnuolo said. “I think it’s hard, you know, to think that somebody can step in, especially at the linebacker position, and play 70 plays. That’s going to be tough. Just physically, it’s hard. We found that out when Kelvin Sheppard had to go in, but we’re going to try and keep him healthy and rotate some guys in there. It’s good to have him back. Love the voice out there. He’s running real well, keep our fingers crossed he stays healthy. He’ll be OK.

“He’s a sideline to sideline guy. We’ve seen that ever since we moved him to Mike linebacker. ... I think he runs real well. He’s a physical guy.”

Still a Beast

For some reason, watching game film of Marshawn Lynch wasn’t enough for Spagnuolo.

“Mean runner. I went on YouTube. I don’t know why I did this. I went on YouTube and I just – I don’t even know how to do that real well, but there was a lot of Marshawn Lynch’s videos,” Spagnuolo said. “He scares me, you know, but I got a lot of respect for him as a football player. Loves playing ball. The way he runs. We’ve been talking about it all week. That’s going to be target No. 1 because he’s a good football player. We can’t let them get the run game going. I mean, it always begins there and this is the same with this football team.”