The Carolina Panthers on Tuesday released cornerback Eli Apple.
Apple, a 2016 first round draft pick, signed a one-year deal with the team prior to training camp and has been bogged down with injuries. Apple began the season on the reserve/injured list as he dealt with a hamstring issue. After seeing a few special teams snaps during the Panthers Week 4 win against the Arizona Cardinals, he suffered another hamstring injury and had to leave the game.
During Week 7’s loss at the New Orleans Saints, Apple saw his first defensive snaps as a Panther, recording four total tackles in 28 snaps. On Tuesday, Apple left the field before the start of practice and was listed on the team’s injury report as a non-participant due to a hamstring injury.
Speaking to media, head coach Matt Rhule said that Apple went in for treatment. “Sometimes it’s just better just to have guys inside, getting treatment and trying to get them as close as possible.” The team announced the roster move less than two hours later.
With Apple released, the Panthers have four active cornerbacks as Rasul Douglas remains on the Covid/reserve list. Rookie Troy Pride, Jr will start opposite of Donte Jackson who appears to be in control of a nagging turf toe injury. Corn Elder and rookie Stantley Thomas-Oliver, III are the other two cornerbacks.