Landon Collins Says Eli Apple 'Has to Grow Up' Amid Struggles

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2017

New York Giants' Eli Apple reacts after breaking up a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

New York Giants safety Landon Collins said fellow defensive back Eli Apple needs to "grow up" as he works through on-field struggles during his second NFL season.

Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com passed along comments Collins made about Apple on Monday during an appearance on WEPN's The Michael Kay Show. He said it wasn't clear whether teammates' efforts to help the cornerback through the rough patch were effective.

"I can't tell you, man. That's a hard topic to speak on," he said. "As a player, he's a great player. As a man, he has his ups and downs. But when he's on the field, I think he's trying to be as much accountable as he can. He understands, I think the business side of the game did it to him, because this game is not for long. And I think he finally understands that even if you're a first-rounder, you can always be cut."

Last week, Collins told James Kratch of NJ Advance Media he was one of the Giants players who has talked with Apple about trying to get back on track.

"I had a sit-down with him. A couple of us have had a sit-down with him," he said. "We just said that regardless of the situation, we've got your back. You're our brother ... at the end of the day, we have to go into battle with him.

"We need him to be here. We need him to want to be here. Not fighting against us, or fighting against the coaches or the organization or whoever he's fighting against in his head. We don't need him fighting us."

After the corner denied a conversation took place, Collins posted a message on social media:


Tweet about that and watch what happens💯

Apple was fined an undisclosed amount for tweeting during the Giants' 30-10 loss to the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys in Week 14, per Raanan.

The 22-year-old Ohio State product has tallied 49 combined tackles and eight passes defended across 10 appearances this season. Pro Football Focus ranks him as the No. 78 cornerback in the NFL.

His on-field issues and off-field problems with Collins encapsulate a forgettable year for the Giants. They own a 2-12 record with two games left in the regular season.