Gi­ants sus­pend ‘hot’ vet­eran Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie

Waterloo Region Record - - SPORTS - Tom Cana­van

EAST RUTHER­FORD, N.J. — The New York Gi­ants sus­pended vet­eran Do­minique Rodger­sCro­mar­tie af­ter the cor­ner­back left the Na­tional Foot­ball League team’s fa­cil­i­ties be­fore prac­tice Wed­nes­day.

Coach Ben McA­doo an­nounced the in­def­i­nite sus­pen­sion af­ter prac­tice. The sec­ond-year coach had met with Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie on Tues­day and told him that he would not be ac­tive for this Sun­day’s game in Den­ver be­cause of some­thing the 31-year-old ei­ther said or did dur­ing Sun­day’s loss to the Los An­ge­les Charg­ers.

Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie had left the bench and gone to the locker-room dur­ing the sec­ond half, but he later re­turned. It is not known if the two ex­changed words dur­ing the game. There was no ap­par­ent phys­i­cal al­ter­ca­tion.

McA­doo told the 10-year vet­eran who joined the Gi­ants in 2014 that he still ex­pected him to prac­tice this week and pre­pare for the game even though he was not go­ing to play.

Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie, who had started three games, re­ported to the Gi­ants’ head­quar­ters Wed­nes­day morn­ing and then left. He was not avail­able for com­ment.

Roo­sevelt Barnes, his agent, did not im­me­di­ately re­turn a tele­phone call from The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Rodger-Cro­mar­tie told ESPN that he ar­gued with McA­doo “about play­ing” dur­ing the game. He ad­mit­ted to han­dling “it the wrong way, but to sit me a game had me hot so I left.”

He said plans to re­turn to the team Thurs­day.

Team­mates said “DRC” had a smile on his face Wed­nes­day morn­ing and they did not sense any­thing was amiss un­til he was not on the field for prac­tice.

Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie was fourth on the team with 26 tack­les. He also had a half sack. He led the team with six in­ter­cep­tions last sea­son.

The tim­ing could not be worse for the Gi­ants. They are 0-5 af­ter mak­ing the play­offs a year ago, and the sus­pen­sion gives the im­pres­sion that McA­doo is los­ing his team in just his sec­ond year as a head coach.

McA­doo said his team had a great prac­tice Wed­nes­day when asked about the pos­si­bil­ity of los­ing the team’s con­fi­dence in him.

Cor­ner­back Eli Ap­ple had no idea that Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie wasn’t at prac­tice un­til he didn’t see No. 41 on the field. He also doesn’t feel the team is fall­ing apart.

“I think the lead­ers on this team, they’re not go­ing to let any­thing like that hap­pen,” Ap­ple said. “And it’s just about us go­ing out on the field and com­pet­ing hard.”

Safety Lan­don Collins said the sus­pen­sion would be dis­cussed by the play­ers. “We’re go­ing to talk about it in this af­ter­noon’s meet­ing,” he said. “It’s a big is­sue in the room and we need to ad­dress it. We don’t need any­one else sep­a­rat­ing from the team.”

Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie was a big con­trib­u­tor to the sec­ondary. He could play on the out­side and he was able to be­come the slot cor­ner­back when op­pos­ing of­fences used three or more wide re­ceivers. He started this past week­end on the out­side. He did leave the game in the first quar­ter when he seemed to hurt his foot cover­ing a deep pass.

FORT WORTH STAR-TELE­GRAM FILE PHOTO

Do­minique Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie runs for TD af­ter re­cov­er­ing a fum­ble by the Dal­las Cow­boys on Sept. 13, 2015.

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