Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: In a long-awaited, though, possibly dangerous move, the Giants are benching their embattled right tackle Ereck Flowers Sunday in Houston and replacing him with second-year pro Chad Wheeler, according to a team source.
The move is dangerous, considering Wheeler will be staring at all-pro Texans defensive end J.J. Watt for most of the day, but was deemed necessary by the coaches, the source said, confirming the initial report from NFL Network. The 24-year-old Wheeler didn't appear to be much of an upgrade over Flowers during five starts last season, but Flowers' performance and progress have been poor enough that the coaches felt they had to do something.
Wheeler took most, but not all, of the first-team reps during the week, the source said. It's possible the two will split time at right tackle, but that would be unusual. Giants head coach Pat Shurmur apparently didn't make the decision to start Wheeler until late in the week, though coaches had determined that he would play a lot, at the very least.