Chad Wheeler has played two offensive snaps in his NFL career. On Sunday, he might be the Giants’ starting right tackle.
“I’m ready,” the undrafted rookie said. “I feel confident in my technique, fundamentals, and I’m just going to go out there and let it rip.”
With Justin Pugh sidelined by a back injury and Bobby Hart playing ineffectively, Wheeler could get the call. The Giants hope he can step in and show them some of the ability he flashed in the summer, when he beat out draft pick Adam Bisnowaty for a spot on the team.
“Unlike most of the typical Southern California too-cool surfer types, he’s got a mean streak to him, and you see that at times,” offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said. “He’s progressing nicely.”
If he plays, he’ll go up against the Chiefs’ Justin Houston, who has 67 1⁄2 sacks in 84 games and has had seven career games with at least three. “I see a savvy veteran with a variety of moves,” Wheeler said. “How long he’s been playing and people are still having problems figuring out how to block him? It’s a challenge.”
But it’s one Wheeler feels he is ready for. “I just have to play 100 miles per hour,” Wheeler said. “Yeah. I can’t wait.”
The Giants are allowing 12.9 yards per punt return this season, the most in the NFL, and now will face Tyreek Hill. “He’s the most dangerous since Devin Hester,” Giants special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said.
Hill has three punt returns for touchdowns in his two-year career, including an 82-yarder this season. “He’s got that speed that’s just electric,’’ Quinn said. “So you’ve got to do the best you can to keep the ball out of his hands, and then once he does get it in his hands, you’ve got to be in the right spots because he can hit you sideline, middle, big field. He’s got it all.”
CB Eli Apple was excused from practice for personal reasons . . . LB B.J. Goodson (ankle), OL Pugh (back) and LB Kelvin Sheppard (groin) didn’t practice. DT Damon Harrison (ankle) and DE Jason Pierre-Paul (ankle) were limited.