Veteran Sean Locklear seemingly is no longer an insurance policy in case one of the New York Giants’ offensive tackles is hurt.
With Will Beatty struggling because of back issues, Locklear is the projected starting left tackle for the Super Bowl champions. No one, though, is ready to say the Seattle Seahawks veteran will be there when the season starts in two weeks.
Beatty remains a question mark. Penciled in as the left tackle going into training camp, a case of sciatica has prevented him from playing in any exhibition games.
After Beatty missed another practice Wednesday, coach Tom Coughlin said time is running out for the four-year veteran to get back on the field for the opener against Dallas on Sept. 5.
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Heading into Friday’s exhibition game against the Chicago Bears, Locklear is the starting left tackle.
Locklear spent his first seven seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, playing mostly right tackle. He played both left and right with Washington last season and was signed by the Giants as a free agent in the offseason.
Playing on the left side is different, he said.
“Everything is kind backward,” Locklear said. “You’re playing out of a left-handed stance, and if you’re so used to playing on the right it’s a little bit different flipping to the left. But, you know, that’s part of it. The more practice you get the better you become and the more comfortable you get.”
The Saints designated offensive line coach Aaron Kromer as the interim head coach for the first six regular-season games, while assistant head coach Joe Vitt serves his suspension in connection with the NFL’s bounty investigation. … Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul missed practice with back spasms and probably will not play Friday. … Browns cornerback Joe Haden was kicked off the practice field by coach Pat Shurmur for being too rough during practice. … Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith was on crutches after being treated for what the team described as a left foot infection. … Cowboys tight end Jason Witten will not need surgery on his lacerated spleen, ESPN reported. … Defensive tackle Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson were chosen by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s seniors committee as finalists for election in 2013. … Dolphins guard Eric Steinbach has decided to retire after sitting out all of last season because of a back injury. … The Rams signed defensive end Vernon Gholston, who was the sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft but has been a bust so far in the NFL.