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Giants coach Pat Shurmur confirms benching Ereck Flowers for Chad Wheeler

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Giants seem to be giving up on former first-round pick

NFL: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chad Wheeler
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ereck Flowers is being benched by the New York Giants for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, with Chad Wheeler starting at right tackle this afternoon.

Coach Pat Shurmur confirmed the move in a pre-game interview with Kim Jones of NFL Network.

“It’s more about giving Chad an opportunity, less about benching Ereck. Now Ereck needs to be ready to go if we need him,” Shurmur said.

“We only going to go as far as that line blocks for us. We’ll give him (Wheeler) an opportunity and we’ll just see what we get.”

The Giants’ offensive line has struggled in two games, giving up eight sacks. Flowers allowed 11 pressures per Pro Football Focus, including a sack, hit and nine hurries of quarterback Eli Manning. No other Giant offensive lineman has allowed more than five pressures. There have also appeared to be communication issues between Flowers and right guard Patrick Omameh in picking up twists and stunts from opposing defensive linemen.

The 2015 first-round pick (ninth overall) was moved from left to right tackle this season by the Giants’ new regime of Shurmur and GM Dave Gettleman. He is in the final year of his rookie contract as the Giants decided not to pick up his fifth-year option.

Wheeler was signed last season as an undrafted free agent out of USC. He played in 11 games with five starts. Now it appears he will get an opportunity to make right tackle his job.

The Giants will also have a new starting center this week as 12-year veteran John Greco will replace Jon Halapio, lost for the season with an ankle injury.