In a season in which Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins each were suspended by the New York Giants, Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins sees another cornerback as the secondary's biggest in-house problem.
When asked what changes should be made to the Giants' defensive backfield next season, Collins -- while not using his name -- referred to Eli Apple as "a cancer" during a Tuesday interview with Bob Wischusen on The Michael Kay Show on 98.7 ESPN New York.
Apple, a top-10 pick in the 2016 draft, didn't play a single defensive snap in Sunday's 23-0 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He has detractors in the locker room and throughout the organization because of his actions, which have earned him a spot on the bench multiple times this season.
"There's only just one corner that ... needs to grow, and we all know who that is," said Collins, one of the more popular players in the locker room. "That would be the only person I would change out of our secondary group. Besides, the other two guys, [Rodgers-Cromartie] and [Jenkins], I love those two guys. They play hard. They love what they do.
"But that first pick ... he's a cancer."
Attempts by ESPN to reach Eli Apple weren't successful.
Collins, who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a fractured forearm, had to be restrained from confronting Apple the past few weeks, according to a recent report by NJ Advance Media. Collins said last week during his weekly radio spot that Apple needed to grow up.
The bad blood between the two reached a boiling point when Collins told the media that he has had several conversations with Apple about his struggles and handling himself in a professional manner. The following day, Apple denied that the conversations ever occurred.
Among Apple's recent missteps was tweeting on the sideline during a Dec. 10 loss to Dallas.
Despite his status as a first-round pick, Apple's future with the team appears to be in doubt. The Giants fired general manager Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo earlier this month, and Apple has made himself an easy target for the next GM and coach.
Collins, meanwhile, is respected by his peers, inside and outside the locker room. He was selected as a Pro Bowl starter last week but won't be playing in the game after fracturing his forearm against the Cardinals.
Collins was hurt while making a tackle in the first half Sunday. He returned for the final play of the half, a kneel-down. Collins said he shed tears after seeing the X-ray at halftime.
"I don't remember the last time I even cried," Collins said after the game. "As soon as I saw the picture up on the X-ray, I just broke down. I couldn't hold in. I broke down."
The Giants (2-13) are playing for little more than pride Sunday, when they host the Washington Redskins. Still, it meant something for Collins to finish the season. He said the tears were because he realized he wouldn't be able to return to help his teammates.
Collins had played 47 straight games since being a second-round pick in 2015. He played through ankle injuries earlier this season and in recent weeks.
Linebacker Derrick Mathews was elevated from the practice squad to take Collins' roster spot.