New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate said Friday that he apologized to the team and takes full responsibility for what he termed “unacceptable” behavior that led to his one-game benching.
Tate displayed frustration over his feelings that not enough passes were coming his way during a nationally televised 25-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 2.
Tate caught his first pass in the fourth quarter and reportedly yelled “throw me the damn ball” at the Giants’ sideline. Later, he made a stellar touchdown grab to pull New York within two and screamed “throw me the ball!” into an ESPN camera.
Giants coach Joe Judge didn’t appreciate the antics and benched Tate for last Sunday’s road game against the Washington Football Team.
“If you know me, if you know my game, I play with a lot of emotion. A lot of passion,” Tate told reporters. “I just got caught up in the moment. I was wrong to draw attention to myself. I take full responsibility for that. I handled it the wrong way and, again, brought negative attention to our organization. It was something that won’t happen again.”
Tate, 32, was demoted to the scout team and had a long meeting with Judge to discuss the situation. He said he was on the same page as the coach per the benching.
“I was definitely disappointed, but there are consequences for your actions,” Tate said. “My actions were unacceptable and I apologized to the team, GM, the coaches, the offense and I’m excited to move forward.
“But I did have fun on scout team. That was fun. I enjoyed it. Got a chance to make some plays and get the defense ready. I enjoyed it.”
Raising the level of drama was the fact that Tate’s wife, Elise, sharply criticized the lack of passes going her husband’s way on Instagram during the game. She later deleted the post.
“I wasn’t aware at the time that it happened that she had said anything,” Tate said. “But in my wife’s defense, she is, and will always be my biggest fan. I disagree with her taking it public, but that is one thing: I’ll always have her back and I know she was, in her mind, protecting me and she was calling it as she saw it at the time without having talked to me and understood what had happened prior to that.”
In another development, Tate was added to New York’s injury report on Thursday with a knee injury. One day later, he was a limited practice participant and the team termed him questionable for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Tate has 22 receptions for 226 yards and two touchdowns in seven games this season. The 11-year veteran has 682 catches for 8,116 yards and 46 scores in 155 career games (112 starts) with the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, Eagles and Giants.
Running back Devonta Freeman (ankle, hamstring) was placed on injured reserve, while defensive back Isaac Yiadom (calf) is questionable.
The Eagles, coming off their Week 9 bye, appear to be as healthy as they have been all season. The team only listed one player as out on Friday, cornerback Craig James (shoulder).
Philadelphia is poised to see the return of several starters, including running back Miles Sanders (knee), tackles Lane Johnson (ankle) and Jack Driscoll (ankle), plus veteran wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (calf) — who has not played at all this season while recovering from a Lisfranc injury last December against the Giants.
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