EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Going from starter to reserve offensive lineman hasn’t been a difficult adjustment for Sean Locklear.
“It’s tough in a way that I would like to be playing but that was what I was brought here for in the beginning,” Locklear said Friday. “They told me to come in and compete and I had a feeling that if I made the team I was going to probably be that swing tackle. I was fortunate to get those games to start.”
Due to injuries to Will Beatty and David Diehl, Locklear, 31, started each of the team’s first eight games. He started at left tackle for the first two as Beatty was working his way back into shape, and then shifted to right tackle when Diehl went down with a sprained MCL. He finally found himself as a backup last week after the team re-inserted Diehl as the starter.
Diehl originally returned on Oct. 14 against San Francisco and has played the past four games, but the team eased him along for his first three games before making the move last week. While Locklear has played quite well this year, he understood why the team made the move to put Diehl back as the starter.
Locklear said he thought Diehl would be back as the starter earlier than last week against Pittsburgh.
“That’s just the way it is. And David Diehl is a good tackle,” Locklear said. “It’s not like we’re losing or dropping off. He’s a better technician than I am. We do stuff similarly and he’s been around here forever. He didn’t do anything to lose his job and I totally understand that. I’m behind him 100 percent. Whatever I can do to help (I will).”
Last week, Locklear played just five of the team’s 51 snaps as the swing tackle, with the Giants' struggling offense not running many plays. He’s slated to be the backup once again this week, but could be back in the starting lineup if right guard Chris Snee can’t go. If that happens, as Snee is questionable with an ankle injury, Diehl could slide inside and Locklear could bounce outside.
Whether he returns to the starting lineup or not this year, Locklear is OK with his role.
“If I came in and didn’t know what to expect and thought I earned a job and got it taken from me, that’s a little bit different,” Locklear said. “And I’m not out of the loop. They do a lot here using that extra tight end a lot so you’re getting to play more than you would be waiting, in case someone was nicked up.”