Bengals cornerback Eli Apple might not be talking about his ongoing feud with Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill, but that hasn't stopped some of Apple's teammates ahead of the teams' meeting at Cincinnati's Paycor Stadium on Thursday night.
After the Dolphins' victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Hill told reporters he owes Apple after their meetings last season when he was with the Kansas City Chiefs. Apple and the Bengals won both, including in the AFC Championship Game to advance to Super Bowl LVI.
"I can't wait to go against Eli Apple. I owe you, boy. I owe you. I'm here. The Cheetah is here. That's it," Hill said.
On Tuesday, Bengals safety Jessie Bates III said Apple has the support of his teammates.
"(If) somebody comes after Eli, he comes after all of us," Bates said. "We're all up for the challenge."
The veteran safety said that he wasn't surprised with Hill's comments about Apple.
"I don't know if Eli got him tickets to the Super Bowl last year or not," Bates said. "I think that's probably why he's a little upset."
On the final play of the first half of the AFC title game in Kansas City, Apple tackled Hill short of the goal line, preventing Kansas City from extending its 21-10 lead. Cincinnati completed the comeback and eventually won the game in overtime 27-24, clinching the franchise's first Super Bowl berth since 1989.