EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants’ starting offensive line has collectively missed just one snap all season, but the team will almost certainly be without one member of the group and perhaps two on Sunday when they face the Jets.
Neither center Jon Halapio (hamstring) nor right tackle Mike Remmers (back) practiced today. If they can’t play, four-year veteran Spencer Pulley, who has not played a down all season, will play center, and first-year pro Nick Gates would make his first start at tackle. Pulley started 16 games for the 2017 Los Angeles Chargers and nine last season for the Giants.
“I think (Halapio is) a ways away,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “But the good news for us is, in my mind, I feel like we have two starting centers on our team. So, if he’s unable to go, then Spencer will go.”
“(Remmers has) got some soreness from the game. So, in the event he can’t go, we’ve got Nick Gates who we feel like will do a good job.”
*Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) and tight end Evan Engram (foot) also did not practice.
Shepard remains in the NFL concussion protocol and will miss his fifth game in a row and sixth of the season.
“There probably won’t be any (practice) activity this week, and then we’ll just move forward from there,” Shurmur said. Asked if placing Shepard on injured reserve is a consideration, Shurmur said, “We’re not talking about any of that at this point. Let’s just try to get him well and get him back on the field. Again, he’s in the protocol, so it’s very defined the steps he’s got to take to get on the field, and he’ll go through those steps.”
*Saquon Barkley’s father, Alibay, will be in an unusual position on Sunday. He will, of course, be rooting for his talented son to post big rushing and touchdown numbers. But maybe not too big, because Alibay Barkley, dare we say, is a Jets fan.
“It’s kind of weird because he has a Jets tattoo,” Barkley said today. “So even if he wears a Saquon Barkley jersey, he’s still repping the Jets. But, if you ever met my dad, you know my dad, he’s been a Jets fan his whole life, so is he going to root for the Jets? Yes, but he’s going to root for the Giants and his son at the same time. So, he gets the best of both worlds. Watch his team that he grew up rooting for and get to watch his son live his dream.”
Seriously, he’s going to root for both teams?
“That’s hard, right?” Barkley said.
But will dad actually root for the green team?
“No, not to win,” Barkley said. “To win is for us, but I think what he said, he probably, I think, is going to wear a Jets jersey. That’s going to be an interesting one, but I gave it to him because it’s a Joe Namath jersey. I think I got him that jersey actually, the Joe Namath one. But at the end of the day, I knew this situation was going to come up one day, but I’m happy for him. I was a Jets fan growing up, too, so it’s fun. It’s going to be a little fun competition in the Barkley house.”
*The Giants lead the regular-season series, 8-5, including 5-1 as the visiting team. The teams last met on Dec. 6, 2015 when the Jets’ 23-20 overtime victory ended the Giants’ five-game winning streak in the series. The Giants last won (29-14) on Dec. 24, 2011, a game highlighted by a short Eli Manning pass that Victor Cruz turned into a franchise-record 99-yard touchdown.
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