William Beatty was supposed to start last at left tackle week against the Eagles. But Shawn Andrews’ back ailment healed prior kickoff last Sunday night, so he made the start in Philadelphia.
Andrews was sent to the Hospital for Special Surgery on Thursday to deal with the same back issues. He spent two days at the hospital and was released on Saturday morning, so it’s highly unlikely that he’ll play Sunday against Jacksonville.
Which means Beatty, the Giants’ second round pick in the 2009 draft, will likely get his first career start at left tackle.
“It’s not the way you’d go about your business, but when we put Shawn Andrews in there, he performed tremendously well for us. He was a significant part of why we didn’t have a sack the last three weeks. Now we’re going to ask William Beatty to go up and do the same thing,” offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said on Friday. “It’s your chance, it’s your opportunity, you’ve been clamoring for it and you wanted an opportunity, we’ve wanted to give it and now it’s here. We didn’t want it to happen under these circumstances, but it’s happened, it’s a chance to step up and contribute and play the way that we believe he has the potential to do.”
With center Shaun O’Hara (foot) and starting left tackle David Diehl (hip, hamstring) out, the task of covering Eli Manning’s blindside will fall on Beatty and reserve Kevin Boothe.
The Giants have had success running to the right side throughout the season, so look for them to pound the ball behind right guard Chris Snee and right tackle Kareem McKenzie against Jacksonville.
Beatty started four games last season at right tackle, but the Giants drafted him to play on the left tackle. He suffered a fractured foot in the Giants’ season-opening win over Carolina. He missed the next five weeks and returned to action in Week 7 against Dallas.
The 6-6 307-pounder from York, Pa., is looking at Sunday’s game against the Jaguars as an opportunity to show Giants coaches that he’s a starting-caliber left tackle. The kind of player they envisioned when they selected him two years ago.
“I know that they recruited me for the left spot. As long as I’m not starting, they’re looking for something I’m not giving them,” Beatty said on Friday. “I have to show them that I want this position and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get it.”