Eli Apple earns praise from coach Steve Spagnuolo for play against Eagles
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple impressed Steve Spagnuolo with a strong performance against the Eagles.

Eli Apple has clearly had a rough go of it this season for the Giants. The second-year cornerback struggled early in the season, getting beat constantly and struggling to hang with receivers.

He then spent four weeks inactive, culminating with a fine for tweeting during the teams game against the Cowboys, as well as having a mild feud with safety Landon Collins over whether they’d spoken about the rough season.

Apple finally returned to the lineup against the Eagles and had a strong game. He collected nine tackles and impressed interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo, according to Dan Schneier at CBS Sports.

Spagnuolo told reporters that I need to see the film, but I thought he was solid. I don’t remember anything that got us in trouble. I do remember this — he had at least two really good tackles and he’s a really good tackler.”

Apple was undoubtedly more noticeable against the Eagles, and he played a strong brand of football. He was solid in coverage as well, with the exception of one blown coverage on a miscommunication with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie that resulted in an Eagles touchdown.

Apple impressed his teammates with his play as well and seems to be on his way to regaining their trust after some perceived locker room issues earlier in the season. Olivier Vernon, in particular, went to bat for Apple, saying, “We all know he loves to play football. He loves being out there, so he knew what he had to do coming in here and making plays and that’s what he did.”

Despite a rough season, the team doesn’t seem ready to give up on Apple, and he seems ready to turn the page on a rough 2017, saying, “It felt great being back out there with the guys, I told them that, too, during the game. I just tried to do everything I could on my part to help us win. I was a little rusty, I’m not going to lie. But I think as the game was going on, I got better.”

Hopefully, for both his and the team’s sake, Apple can finish strong and go into the offseason with some confidence as the team gets ready for the 2018 season.

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