Eli Apple was benched as a cornerback, but he might be able to find another way to help the Giants.
Last year’s first-round pick reminded reporters that he was a wide receiver in high school in New Jersey — “All-State, baby,” he said — and that he would offer those services to the team if they are as depleted at the position as it seems they are. Odell Beckham Jr. and Dwayne Harris, at the very least, will be gone for the long term with broken bones while Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall will have further evaluations on their ankle injuries suffered in Sunday’s 27-22 loss to the Chargers.
“I’ve never seen that,” Apple said of the Giants losing four players at the same position. “Going back to high school, Little League. It was insane. I was like ‘Do we even have any more receivers?’ I was thinking I was going to have to go play receiver.”
Apple switched to cornerback at Ohio State. At Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, New Jersey, though, he had 39 catches for 770 yards and four touchdowns on offense as a senior.
It’s highly unlikely that Apple will be asked to switch back to offense, even in an emergency capacity. The Giants will explore other options to bolster their ranks at the position, including promotions from the practice squad and probably even former players they recently parted ways with (Tavarres King and maybe even Victor Cruz).
But Apple was not joking when he made his offer.
“I’ll go out there,” he said. “I’m gonna have to tell them this week in practice to put me at receiver if you need me.”