New York Giants left tackle Will Beatty has been battling a back injury. Beatty did not practice Friday as he went for an MRI and also skipped Saturday's workout. Beatty claims, though, that he feels good and is ready to practice this week.
"I feel good," said Beatty. "I feel a lot better than before. I'm standing up right, I'm walking fine. I'm smiling, so that's a good thing."
Head coach Tom Coughlin mentioned on Friday that Beatty appeared to be "slowing down" throughout the week, but Beatty says it's because he's trying to get back into shape to prevent himself from re-injuring his back.
"You know what you want to do mentally, and now you have to physically train your body to perform at its peak," said Beatty. "Stay healthy. It's not much I really have to do, other than make sure I'm not going overboard on anything in the weight room, making sure that I'm staying smart and keeping myself in top shape."
Though Coughlin expressed that he still seemed to be battling the injury, Beatty insists that he feels good.
"I'm out there practicing," said Beatty. "With [Coughlin] watching us, he can probably see a lot more than we can feel. I'm still doing things that I need to get done. I went to see the doctor to make sure I was still on the right path.
Worst-case scenario, if Beatty re-injures his back and cannot play, what are the Giants' options for left tackle?
There are two options that would ultimately move Diehl over to left tackle. Sean Locklear has more experience in the right tackle position than the left, so if he's used then that's where he'd likely play. There is also the choice of using James Brewer, the fourth-round draft pick in 2011. He's been practicing mostly at right tackle, however unlike Locklear he lacks experience. There is also the option leaving Diehl at right tackle and using Brewer or Locklear on the left side. Locklear has been taking left tackle snaps with the first team in Beatty's absence.
None of those options seem very pleasing, but it doesn't look like the Giants have many choices.
Offensive line coach Pat Flaherty knows that Beatty is still battling to regain full health, but he's still thrilled to have him back on the field.
"Right now he's working through the pain in his back, but he doesn't show many signs of it," said Flaherty. "He's really progressing very well, I just hope, as we all that the back holds up well for him, to work through it. Everybody's vital to the offensive line, particularly with the experience that you've had in the past. William certainly fits a very good piece of the puzzle because he can play left tackle athletically and that allows us to keep David Diehl at right tackle and work with the younger groups into the backup roles."
Though he's gotten some practice in since coming back, it will be a test for Beatty this week when he takes the field. Mostly because he will be facing guys like Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, and Justin Tuck. If Beatty can survive those three, then he might be OK.
"I felt good being out there, being able to practice," said Beatty. "Being able to keep up with Osi; he's fresh, he's glad to be back. JPP got a little bigger since the last time I saw him. So being able to keep up with those guys, knowing that I'm coming back off an injury...When we started going full pads, I was like, 'Okay, this is my workout. This is preparing me for the season.'"