The first player to be suspended by the Giants this year said he was surprised by the second player suspended by the Giants this year.
“I couldn’t believe it because I know what kind of guy Jackrabbit is,” cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said of hearing the news that fellow cornerback Janoris Jenkins would miss at least this week’s game against the Rams for violating team rules. “He’s a guy that comes in here every day and he competes with the best. He shows all of us in the locker room what a real competitor is.”
And yet, Jenkins was a no-show on Monday when the team reported back from the bye week. His lack of communication with the team regarding that absence led to Ben McAdoo issuing an indefinite suspension.
Rodgers-Cromartie did not defend Jenkins’ actions.
“I think the people that get suspended have got to take ownership of it,” he said. “They’ve got to own what they do. There are consequences to everything you do. Whether you feel like you’re right or wrong, there are certain ways to handle things and if you do it the wrong way, you’ve got to pay for it.”
That’s a lesson Rodgers-Cromartie learned just three weeks ago when he was suspended by McAdoo for leaving the team following a disagreement with the head coach regarding his playing time. DRC had left the bench area in frustration late in the Chargers game — he was injured, felt he could have played, but not allowed to return to the field — and was going to be benched for the upcoming game against the Broncos. Instead of handling that punishment, Rodgers-Cromartie left the building and was suspended.
Rodgers-Cromartie said he has spoken to Jenkins since his infraction.
“That’s my partner,” he said. “I talk to him, but it ain’t going to be about football. It’s just off the field. As long as you’re good and you hit him with a text, he’ll hit you back. He said I’m good, you leave it at that.”
The two did not discuss the particulars of Jenkins’ situation.
While he served his suspension, Rodgers-Cromartie made it a point to stay in touch with teammates. He expects the same from Jenkins.
“I’m quite sure throughout the week he’ll reach out to us because at the end of the day, we know what he means to us on that field and to lose him is a big blow,” DRC said. “But I know he’ll text the group just like I did before the game and during the week and say ‘Y’all go out there and do what you’re supposed to do.’”
Rodgers-Cromartie said he doesn’t yet know if he will play Jenkins’ starting cornerback role in the defense this week, though he seems to be the likeliest candidate. The Giants are shorthanded at the position to start with and if Eli Apple (who also missed Monday but alerted the team to his travel delays) is benched for any part of Sunday’s game against the Rams, they’ll be in even worse shape.
As for the reason behind the two suspensions, Rodgers-Cromartie insisted that were separate incidents.
“Definitely, definitely,” he said when asked if it was just coincidence that both suspensions have happened to starting cornerbacks. “You can’t pinpoint who it’s falling upon. I just think it’s been that type of year. All you can do is keep going out and just try to finish it the right way.”
Being 1-6, of course, does not help.
“You’ve been losing, you get guys suspended, you’re not always at your best when you’re on the field, that’s very frustrating, especially when you know what you’re capable of doing,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “At the end of the day, we come here every day with the same mindset. Like I said, losing makes you that much more hungry to win. At the end of the day, this is a profession and we want to win but we just got to find a way.”