New York Giants
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By order of the current NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, Organized Team Activities are voluntary in nature.
Still, the unexplained absence of veteran cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from the Giants' first day of OTAs raised more than a few eyebrows.
According to a team spokesperson, Rodgers-Cromartie's absence was not related to an injury or medical condition, and head coach Ben McAdoo was unwilling to shed any additional light on what might be brewing with the Giants' Pro-Bowl cornerback.
"DRC wasn't able to make it today," McAdoo said. "We look forward to getting him back here as soon as we can."
McAdoo declined to answer when asked if he had heard from Rodgers-Cromartie regarding any reason for the no-show.
"We want all of our guys here. We feel it's important to developing the team and building fundamentals and working on communication and we can't wait to get DRC back," he said.
So might that be anytime soon?
"It's a voluntary opportunity, OTAs," McAdoo said. "If he's here, we'll coach him. If he's not, we wish him nothing but the best."
Rodgers-Cromartie's absence meant more opportunities for rookie first-round draft pick Eli Apple, who took the majority of his snaps from Rodgers-Cromartie's usual spot.
Not surprisingly, the rookie was often the target in coverage, as he primarily went against second-year receiver Geremy Davis, who according to the team distributed roster stands an inch taller than Apple.
"I guess they were trying to pick on me a little bit," Apple said. "On the first play, (quarterback) Eli (Manning) tried to check a fade, and he checked a couple of other plays out there. Just have to be ready for anything out there, I guess."
While McAdoo declined to offer an opinion on how Apple did in his first drills against the Giants' offense, Apple seemed encouraged by what he had done, particularly on one pass play to Davis which, while overthrown, saw the rookie stay on Davis' hip as they streaked down the sideline.
"(Manning) threw a good ball that was a little beyond the reach of the receiver, but I was kind of over there and trying to make a play on the ball," said Apple, whose former defensive coordinator at Ohio State, Chris Ash (now the head coach at Rutgers) was on hand to watch the practice).
"(It's) a little tougher to do against a bigger guy, but I think I held my own. I just have to make sure I'm focused on every play and make sure I expect the ball every time."