Eli Apple on Thursday disputed teammate Landon Collins’ assertion that Collins had been among New York Giants’ teammates who had tried to help Apple, inactive the past four games, cope with a difficult season.
“Landon, no,” Apple said. “I talked to Brandon Marshall. DRC’s always been a good person to talk to cause he kinda went through the same thing when he was around my age. I just talked to some of the guys and they helped me out.”
Collins, a third-year safety and a player considered one of the young leaders on the Giants’ defense, said Wednesday that “I had a sit down with him, a couple of us had a sit-down with him and we just said, ‘Man regardless of the situation, we got your back. You’re our brother.’ “
Collins on Wednesday seemed to be trying to show some empathy for Apple.
“He’s got a lot of personal things going on at this point in his life,” Collins said. “I’m surprised he’s still here and didn’t step away from the game because most players would. But he’s got a lot going on in his situation. That’s when you have to be a brother towards him and know and tell him that you got his back and we are here for you.
“At the end of the day, we have to go into battle whether if he’s on the field or not on the field. We have to go to practice with him and we need him to be here. We need him to want to be here and not fighting against us or fighting against the coaches,” Collins said. “Because if he’s fighting against the coaches or the organization or whatever he’s fighting against in his head, we don’t need him fighting us because that causes conflict.”
Told of Apple’s version of events, Collins said “I guess he don’t remember things.”
Collins also fired off this on Twitter, which may or may not be directed at his teammate:
Tweet about that and watch what happens— LANDON COLLINS (@TheHumble_21) December 14, 2017
Why Apple would dispute that Collins had attempted to help him, or Collins would claim to have talked with him if he hadn’t is a mystery. Just like pretty much the entire season has been for Apple, the Giants’ 2016 first-round pick.
Apple has been practicing this week, but doesn’t know if he will be active for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
He called his in-game re-tweet of a celebration of a Rod Smith touchdown against the Giants “a mistake ... by me.”