Eli Apple wants to play vs. Eagles after tweeting 'mistake'

ByJordan Raanan via ESPN logo
Friday, December 15, 2017

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Cornerback Eli Applewas fined an undisclosed amount by theNew York Giantsfor tweeting on the sideline during Sunday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys, a source told ESPN on Thursday.

Apple, the No. 10 overall draft pick in 2016, said he understood the rule about tweeting during games. He was inactive for Sunday's game when the infraction occurred.

"I wasn't confused. It was just a mistake by me," Apple said Thursday.

He wouldn't specify what the repercussions were for his infraction, and he hopes to play this weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"Everybody has to pay for any mistake they make," said Apple, who would only say the matter was handled in-house. Even though Apple broke a league rule, the NFL and individual teams don't both fine players for the same violation.

Apple, who has been inactive for the past four weeks, said the coaching staff hasn't told him if he will be active on Sunday. He has taken some reps on defense and special teams at practice this week. He also has run some scout-team reps.

Apple on Thursday didn't want to talk about the past four weeks, and instead is concentrating on the Eagles. The Giants have made it clear what they're expecting.

"Just go about my day as a professional," said Apple, who has admitted talking to veterans such as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Brandon Marshall about how to handle struggles early in a career.

The way Apple handled Sunday didn't qualify. He was made inactive for what interim coach and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said was a lack of reps at practice throughout the week. Apple wanted to play. He declined to comment after the game, saying he wasn't allowed to talk.

Frustrated with the situation, he was tweeting on the sideline during the game, including one that said he was healthy. He was on the Giants' injury report last week with hip and back injuries.

Apple, 22, also retweeted an Ohio State website "Eleven Warriors" after it posted about the Cowboys'Rod Smith icing the Giants with an 81-yard touchdown reception. Apple and Smith were teammates at Ohio State, but Rodgers-Cromartie admitted earlier this week that tweet wasn't a good idea.

Either way, Apple violated an NFL rule, which state:

"The use of social media or networking sites (including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and similar vehicles) by coaches, players, and other club football operations personnel is prohibited on game day (including halftime) beginning ninety (90) minutes before kickoff until after the post-game locker room is open to the media, and players have first fulfilled their obligation to be available to the news media who are at the game.

"No updates are permitted to be posted by a player himself or anyone representing him during this prohibited time on his Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other social media account. Doing so may subject a player to League discipline."

It has been a strange season for Apple. He even denied having a conversation with safety Landon Collins about his struggles; Collins said Wednesday the two had talked.

"I guess he don't remember things," Collins told reporters Thursday when told about Apple's denial.

Despite his ups and downs this season, Apple insists he wants to remain with the team.

"Of course. I'm blessed to be where I am right now," Apple said. "I appreciate everything being here, alive. Football is something I love to do. It's a blessing. You don't want to take it for granted. I definitely want to be here, to be honest."

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