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Spencer Pulley is probably the Giants’ starting center, like it or not

He’s the only player on the roster who has played the position in an NFL game

NFL: Preseason-New York Giants at New England Patriots Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Falato did a fantastic job a week or so ago telling us exactly what New York Giants center Spencer Pulley is, and is not, as an NFL player. If you missed it, go back and give it a look.

Falato’s basic conclusion — Pulley shouldn’t be an every week starting center.

As we come to our discussion of Pulley in our series profiling the players the Giants will bring to training camp I’m not going to rehash in depth what Pulley can or can’t do.

Instead, as we consider football in the year of the COVID-19 pandemic I’m going to ask a question. Do the Giants have any choice but to consider Pulley their 2020 starting center?

Let’s take a closer look.

The basics


How he got here

The LA Chargers cut Pulley before the 2018 season despite his having started all 16 games for the team in 2017. Pulley played in 13 games with nine starts for the Giants in 2018, and played in four games with one start last season.

2020 outlook

The 26-year-old is the Giants’ starting center. Until he isn’t.

Reality is, Pulley is the only experienced center on the roster. There has been a great deal of talk about Jon Halapio. It seems unrealistic, though, that Halapio will be ready for a full load of snaps during training camp — less than nine months after Achilles tendon surgery. With that in mind, it is questionable Halapio — currently unsigned — is brought back.

Nick Gates, Shane Lemieux, and undrafted free agent Kyle Murphy are all center possibilities. Except for one game played by Murphy, none has ever actually played the position, though.

Is one training camp, perhaps with no games and only two-dozen practices — mostly unpadded — enough time to figure out if one of those three can be relied upon at the position?

Perhaps not.

So, unless the Giants just decide to roll the dice and trust without any real evidence that Gates or Lemieux can be a starting NFL center the job likely belongs to Pulley. By default.