FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Chad Wheeler will miss three of the four pre-season fixtures this summer as he is out of action for the final on Thursday night against the Patriots for his cranky back. What comes next for the earlier offensive tackle is unknown and could be precarious.
The Giants recruited Wheeler in this off-season, committing veteran Mike Remmers to start with the right tackle. Wheeler, who did not come on the USC in 2017, has played 17 games at the right time in the past two seasons, including the last 14 games in 2018, after the unfortunate attempt to rescue Eric Flowers' career at the right size had taken a bad course.
This season, 25-year-old Wheeler should act as a substitute ̵
now? The first service cuts from 90 to 53 arrive on Saturday, and Wheeler has a hard time. This is the first time he has dealt with a back injury. It locked up in practice one day. He tried to return to the second preseason game against the bears and played 39 snapshots before flaring again.
"I just take it day by day," Wheeler told The Post. "I think I'm fine."
It does not sound like Wheeler is ready to start the opening game in the regular season of September 8, and he hopes he will not get into it short-term injured reserve must change.
"It could be tight, still a possibility, I think," he said.
The less desirable option is the Giants Cut him with a claim settlement.
"He was plagued by this little back injury," said coach Pat Shurmur. "So we'll just see, he has not been able to repeat the quality exercises for a long time, but he's practicing out there, we'll just see where he is."
It's not like Wheeler an unknown player. "I think I showed them a lot," said Wheeler. "Just so I can compete against anyone."
Though he said, "I think everyone should want to be a starter." Wheeler considered the arrival of Remmers less a demotion than a reminder he needed to improve. He said the new arrivals on the line – Remmers and Guard Kevin Zeitler make the new right back home – facilitate the completion of his task.
"It's really soothing, especially near these vets," said Wheeler. "Just take notes every day about how they do things, how they behave."