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Sean Locklear ready to step in for injured Will Beatty if needed

Will Beatty at the New York Giants Tuesday

Will Beatty at the New York Giants Tuesday mini camp. (June 12, 2012) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Will Beatty has practiced each of the last two days, but if he is unable to play against the Cowboys because of a back injury that has bothered him throughout the summer, the Giants still will be in pretty good shape.

With Beatty sidelined, veteran Sean Locklear has been playing left tackle. At first, it was temporary, but as Beatty's issue lingered, Locklear got more and more comfortable at the position.

"[Locklear] has played real well," offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. "He hasn't hurt us in the pass game at all. His protection has been excellent . . . We haven't fallen off because when we've erred, it's not been something that he did that hurt us."

When Beatty does return -- in this game or down the schedule somewhere -- it will give the Giants depth. Sunday, Beatty took limited snaps with the starters, but he also volunteered to play on the scout team so he could work against Osi Umenyiora.

Tom Coughlin said Beatty has done well in practice, but he was reluctant to be too optimistic.

"I always have to be in reserve when it's something like that," he said of the back injury.


Nicks: 'I'm playing'

Hakeem Nicks might have had the most active day of not practicing in NFL history. While he was technically sidelined and not wearing any pads because of some soreness in his surgically repaired right foot, he still was on the field catching passes while the quarterbacks warmed up and he lingered around the offensive drills.

"He looked like once he got out here and he was moving around on the grass, he looked a little friskier," Coughlin said. "Looked like he was going to do a couple of things."

He didn't, but Coughlin said he expects Nicks to return to practice Monday. As for Nicks' take, he didn't even allow reporters to ask the question.

"I'm playing," he said before walking away.


Giant steps

DT Marvin Austin (back) practiced for the first time since training camp and said he expects to be back for Week 2 against the Bucs . . . LB Michael Boley (hamstring) participated fully and had an interception in practice. CB Jayron Hosley (toe) also was a full participant . . . Cowboys TE Jason Witten (spleen) was limited in Dallas. He'll receive a CT scan Tuesday to see if he can play Wednesday before the team leaves for New Jersey . . . T D.J. Jones, who was claimed off waivers by the Giants on Saturday, did not pass his team physical. The Giants re-signed G Mitch Petrus, who had been waived to make room for Jones.

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