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Giants’ roster bubble: Spencer Pulley, Grant Haley, Elijhaa Penny — who else?

Here are nine players who could be fighting for roster spots this week

New York Giants v New York Jets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The New York Giants have only three practices and a Blue-White Scrimmage before they have to set their initial 53-man roster. That means it is time to think seriously about players who might be on the roster bubble.

Head coach Joe Judge was asked on Sunday how set the roster was entering the final week of training camp.

“At this point, there’s a lot of things that can happen. There are a lot of guys who have left strong impressions,” Judge said. “We want to make sure we take advantage of the remaining time to give everyone a fair shot and make sure we don’t oversee someone’s ability and make an assumption too quick.”

Here is a look at players who might be fighting for jobs this week.

Spencer Pulley — If he isn’t going to start at center, Pulley might find himself looking for a new team. Undrafted free agent Tyler Haycraft is pushing hard for a roster spot, and drew praise from Judge on Sunday for his intelligence. If Haycraft wins that roster spot, it probably comes at Pulley’s expense.

Grant Haley — If you have been reading our training camp coverage, you know that it hasn’t been a good couple of weeks for Haley. He’s been torched repeatedly in practices, particularly by David Sills. Haley, though, played pretty well in Friday’s Blue-White Scrimmage. Special teams and the fact that right now the Giants don’t have a clear second option as a slot cornerback other than Darnay Holmes might save him.

Elijhaa Penny — This one is just a nagging feeling. I don’t recall seeing the veteran fullback take a single snap on offense during Friday’s scrimmage. All of the lead blocking, as far as I could tell, was done by tight ends. He signed a two-year contract this offseason, but the Giants would only be on the hook for $335,000 if they cut him. Penny is a good, respected player, but if you aren’t going to use the fullback then why have one?

Eric Tomlinson/Garrett Dickerson — The Giants can’t keep five tight ends. At least, I can’t figure out how, even if they don’t carry a fullback. I doubt veteran Levine Toilolo, signed to a two-year deal in the offseason with more than $3 million guaranteed, is going anywhere. That leaves Tomlinson and Dickerson probably competing for one spot. They each bring different skills to the table. Right now, I couldn’t tell you which one has the upper hand.

David Sills-Alex Bachman-Austin Mack — I have stayed mostly with veteran players who were part of the team a season ago. I think I would be remiss, though, if I didn’t discuss the competition for spots at the bottom of the wide receiver depth chart. All three of these players have made strong cases for inclusion on the 53-man roster. I think, though, that there is only roster space for two of them. Who is the odd man out? I suspect it might be Bachman only because the Giants have Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate as slot receivers, but that’s purely a guess.

R.J. McIntosh — The Giants added Austin Johnson during the offseason and Daylon Mack at the beginning of training camp. There isn’t room on the roster for all three. Shoot, depending on what the Giants want to do there might only be room for one of them. McIntosh has done little in his first two seasons, and his hold on a roster spot would seem tenuous.