Despite a report that Giants cornerback Eli Apple nearly walked out on the team over criticism of his lack of effort, Apple will soon be walking back on to the field. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Apple currently is expected to play next weekend, against the Raiders.
He has missed the last two games. The first came after his mother had brain surgery, and he missed multiple practices during the week to be with her. The second came due ostensibly to the short work-week before Thursday’s game in Washington.
Aiding Apple’s cause is the ankle injury suffered by Janoris Jenkins, along with not-so-stellar performances by Ross Cockrell, who has replaced Apple in the starting lineup. Then there’s the reality that multiple defensive backs have had issues with the coaches this year, with two of them (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jenkins) suspended a game each for conduct detrimental to the team. So the problem may not solely be Apple.
That said, his perceived lack of effort became a real issue in losses to the Rams and 49ers. While it’s possible that injuries may have affected him, anyone who is able to suit up is regarded as being able to show the effort necessary to make plays, unless and until the injury keeps him from performing at all.
Whatever the situation, Apple’s best play is to keep showing up for work, day in and day out. Any breach of the agreement or suspension imposed by the team would wipe out the guarantees applicable to the final two years of his top-10 contract, allowing the team to cut him with no further financial obligation.