The Cincinnati Bengals upset the apple basket at Highmark Stadium, dismantling the Bills and their Super Bowl aspirations.
Then Eli Apple got rotten.
Apple, a Bengals cornerback who loves being a villain, mocked Bills receiver Stefon Diggs in a tweet Monday evening. He may have included a veiled shot at Damar Hamlin.
Diggs, who hadn’t spoken publicly since the Bills were knocked out of the playoffs, was fired three tweets in two minutes:
- “You want me to agree to lose? Nah.”
- “You want me to agree with our level of play when it is not up to par? Nah”
- “It’s easy to criticize my reaction more than the result.”
“Cancun the 3rd”, Quote from Apple tweeted, as well as a heart-hands emoji, which was Damar Hamlin’s signature salute as the footballing world rallied around him. Hamlin wears number 3 and “Play for 3” has become the Bills’ motto.
Apple kept poking fun at Diggs and the Bills there. He sent over 20 retweets, including: a screenshot of a Bills fan giving him the major; videos featuring Josh Allen a fake in big games who couldn’t stand more than 10 points; a video implying that Diggs and Allen are garbage; a meme ridicule Diggs to watch opposing teams celebrate; an excerpt from the game gesturing apple while Diggs was on his knees and groomed by trainers; an animation of Apple snap cutouts headers from Josh Allen, Gabe Davis, Stefon Diggs, Sean McDermott and a Buffalo wing.
“Someone is putting them in couples therapy,” Apple tweeted above video of a visibly frustrated Diggs on the sidelines at the end of the loss to the Bengals. “I will pay on God.” Apple tagged Allen and Diggs in the tweet.
The CBS broadcast showed a demonstrative Diggs speaking in the direction of Allen and a Bills staffer late in the game. Allen never looked up from his tablet on the bench.
Diggs has been criticized for darting from Highmark Stadium immediately after the 27-10 loss. Running back Duke Johnson sued Diggs, who left the locker room before head coach Sean McDermott addressed the team and persuaded the star receiver to briefly return. Diggs was not available to media on Sunday or Monday.
“He’s frustrated like we all are,” McDermott told reporters during the locker-cleaning day. “He was here today. He and I talked, and I’ll leave it at that. McDermott praised Diggs’ competitiveness and passion that the team loves.
Apple knocked down a pass in the end zone as the Bills went there fourth-and-sixth from their 20-yard line midway through the fourth quarter. He celebrated as he ran along the Bills sideline waving a finger, then kept gesticulatingthe dance and raise your arms rejoice in victory.
Apple conducted postgame interviews leaning against a wall and smoke a cigar in the locker room.
“We’re simply the best,” Apple said.
Hamlin attended the divisional round game with his mother and younger brother less than three weeks after suffering cardiac arrest and being resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati. Hands from the heart were included in nearly all of her Twitter and Instagram posts amid her recovery from hospital beds in Cincinnati and Buffalo.
Bills players honored Hamlin with No. 3 crests on their jerseys and hats, and repeatedly put their hands in heart shapes to celebrate touchdowns in their first game after Hamlin’s medical emergency. Hamlin’s heart-shaped signal is ubiquitous in Buffalo, appearing on ice sculptures, muralsand Tee-shirts.
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