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Giants' David Diehl will retake starting right tackle job vs. Steelers

By Jenny Vrentas/The Star-Ledger
on November 01, 2012 at 2:41 PM, updated November 01, 2012 at 2:47 PM

David Diehl will return to the starting line-up for the first time since Week 2.Tim Farrell/The Star-Ledger

Sean Locklear said he got the news Wednesday, from Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty: David Diehl will return to his starting right tackle job this week, and Locklear will return to jumbo tackle duty.

"He said, 'You're not being benched because of your play,' " Locklear said of his conversation with Flaherty. " 'Youíve been playing good; youíve done everything weíve asked. Itís jkst the guy canít lose his job from minor injury.' I kind of expected it, I just didnít know when it was going to happen. Heís been here 10 years, heís started virtually every game. So I understand where they are coming from."

Locklear said Diehl is taking all the reps with the first team in practice this week, in preparation to start against the Steelers.

Diehl sprained his MCL in the Week 2 win against the Buccaneers and missed the next three games. Diehl returned for the 49ers game but has spent the past three games as the jumbo tackle -- the first time in his 10-year Giants career he's played but did not start. Locklear will now return to jumbo duty.

"Itís tough, but itís the position I thought I was going to be in coming into the season," Locklear said. "But you know, things happen. Had a chance to actually get in there and play, and now it is kind of back to where I thought it was going to be. Iím happy Iíll be that sixth guy, so Iíll still get some reps. I wonít completely just be out of the loop."

Locklear, a nine-year veteran, filled in admirably in Diehl's place. He started the season at left tackle, while Will Beatty was on his way back from a back injury, and moved to right tackle after Diehl's injury. Quarterback Eli Manning has only been sacked six times this season, the fewest in the league.

"I was excited to get in and play, I'm excited for the things I've done, but Iíll be (Diehl's) biggest fan," Locklear said. "Iíll cheer him, help where I can, and then like I said, I'll be the sixth guy and prepare that way."