One way to look at it is to say it’s surprising Will Beatty lasted as long as he did. Just over a week ago his back was too tight to even run the conditioning test and Tom Coughlin said he would be limited early in camp. Turned out he wasn’t. He was out there every day, even in the back-to-back days in full pads on Wednesday and Thursday. But today, finally, that back caught up with him.
“He surely right now is working through the pain in his back but doesn’t show many signs of it,” offensive line coach Pat Flaherty said. Of course, that was before he missed today’s practice.
“His back is bothering him,” Tom Coughlin said of his starting left tackle. “He was kind of slowing down a little bit so they’re going to look at that.”
Sean Locklear was in Beatty’s place with the first unit.
Earlier, before practice, Flaherty said Beatty’s back is a big issue for the offensive line this season.
“William certainly fits in as a very big piece of the puzzle because he can play left tackle athletically and that allows us to keep David Diehl at right tackle and work the younger groups into the backup roles as we see it,” Flaherty said.
If Beatty has to miss time during the season, it’s unclear if the Giants would move Diehl back to left tackle and play Locklear at right tackle – since those are the positions those two guys have played for the last two years – or if they would keep Diehl at right tackle and let Locklear and perhaps James Brewer (who is also dealing with a back injury) duke it out for snaps at left tackle.
RIght now, it's about trying to not get to that point.
“I know from time to time he’ll go and get re-checked just to make sure everything is OK, but William has missed so much time,” Flaherty lamented. “I mentioned to him the other day: ‘When was the last time you had pads on?’ the first day we had pads on. Well, it was November of 2011. So they felt a little bit different for him. But he worked through it and he’s really progressing very well. As we all do, hope the back holds up for him and he’s able to continue to work through it.”