The Giants have officially ruled out wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), tight end Evan Engram (foot) and center Jon Halapio (hamstring). Starting right tackle Mike Remmers (back) is doubtful.
Spencer Pulley, who started nine games for the Giants last season, will take over for Halapio. Since the beginning of OTAs coach Pat Shurmur has insisted the Giants have two starting centers, though Pulley has yet to play this season.
“They’re (Halapio and Pulley) similar in a lot of ways,” Shurmur told the team’s official website. “They’re very smart. Part of being a center is, obviously, directing us, and I think Spencer does a really good job in that area. He’s also got probably a little bit more quickness than Pio. Pio probably has a little bit more power. But for the most part, they are very similar in a lot of ways.”
At right tackle, second-year man Nick Gates will get his first NFL start. Gates, an undrafted free agent out of Nebraska, spent last season on IR. He has played 15 snaps this season, mostly as an extra tight end.
Shepard’s absence has been expected as he is back in the league’s concussion protocol. There is no timetable for when or if he will return this season.
With Engram sidelined, the Giants appear ready to dress only Rhett Ellison and Kaden Smith at the tight end position. Tight ends Garrett Dickerson, Eric Tomlinson and C.J. Conrad are all available and have been Giants at one point or another in 2019, but as of yet the Giants have not made a move to add anyone at that spot.