Landon Collins Says Eli Apple Has 'Checked Out,' Talks CB's Family Issues

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 27, 2017

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 01: Eli Apple #24 of the New York Giants looks on during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. The Bucs defeated the Giants 25-23. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

New York Giants safety Landon Collins isn't backing down on his verbal attacks against teammate Eli Apple.

In an interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson (via Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post), Collins specifically cited a moment with Apple during the Giants' 23-0 loss against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 16. 

"I feel like Eli Apple has checked out," Collins said. "… If you go back to the game on Sunday, Eli was sitting down on the sideline. That’s not what we need right now."

Dan Duggan of NJ Advance Media reported on Saturday that Apple's family problems, including a falling out with his stepfather, contributed to the second-year cornerback's struggles this season. The New York Post reported Apple's mother, Annie, underwent brain surgery recently. 

Collins didn't buy that as an excuse, telling Anderson: "We all go through our own family things," but still "have to go to work and be a professional."

Collins' latest comments come one day after he called Apple a "cancer" during a radio interview, per Ian O'Connor of ESPN.com.

Apple was the Giants' first-round pick, 10th overall, in 2016. He started 11 of his 14 games, recovering two fumbles and intercepting one pass as a rookie.

The 22-year-old was inactive for four straight games from Week 11 through 14, with Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reporting Apple nearly walked out of the Giants' facilities on two occasions to "get away from it all."

Apple has been active for New York's last two games. He recorded a season-high seven tackles in Week 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles, but was limited to special teams duty against the Cardinals in Week 16.

The Giants will finish their disappointing 2017 season at MetLife Stadium on Sunday against the Washington Redskins.