Nick Gates may start at right tackle as Giants offensive line sees two changes coming Sunday

Nick Gates may start at right tackle as Giants offensive line sees two changes coming Sunday


Nick Gates may start at right tackle for the Giants on Sunday, joining center Spencer Pulley as two new projected starters to break up a unit that’s been together all year  The Giants’ starting five has been together for 609 of 610 offensive snaps through nine games Advertisement  But starting right tackle Mike Remmers (back) regressed and missed Thursday’s practice after being limited Wednesday, and center Jon Halapio (hamstring) is “a ways away,” per coach Pat Shurmur  Gates, 23, was signed as an undrafted free agent tackle out of Nebraska in the spring of 2018 but spent all of last season on injured reserve with a foot injury  The Las Vegas native has dressed for all nine games this season as the Giants’ top backup He has played 15 total offensive snaps, 14 as the sixth extra lineman in heavy packages  He made a nice block on Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee on Monday to spring Saquon Barkley for a three-yard gain on third-and-short in the early third quarter  Two games ago in Detroit, Gates played one snap at right tackle in place of Remmers, who had left briefly due to injury That was the only snap the starting five has not played together all year.  It has been left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Will Hernandez, Halapio, right guard Kevin Zeitler, and Remmers the whole way Until now.  “(Remmers) has got some soreness, so in the event he can’t go, then we’ve got Nick Gates, who we feel like will do a good job,” Shurmur said Thursday  The last time Gates started a game was in college, at left tackle for Nebraska against Iowa on Nov 24, 2017. Gates on Wednesday recalled that day facing outside linebacker/edge Anthony Nelson, who now plays for the Buccaneers  He started all 35 games in which he played at Nebraska before leaving for the NFL after his junior year That included 25 straight starts at left tackle, the longest streak for a Cornhusker since 1981  He has shown the Giants that he can play both guard and tackle, and has been next man up at both spots, outside of the option to slide a healthy Halapio to guard if Hernandez or Zeitler had gone down  A shakeup to the offensive line might not be a bad thing, however, even though it breaks up the starting group  Halapio (52.0) and Remmers (61.2) are the lowest-graded Giants offensive linemen by Pro Football Focus, behind Hernandez (62 3), Solder (67.2) and Zeitler (69.2). PFF has Halapio struggling in both run and pass blocking (50 7 and 50.4, respectively). Remmers has graded better as a pass blocker (65.8) than as a run blocker (54 9).  Barkley had 14 carries for just 28 yards in Monday night’s blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys Some of that was Barkley not running enough north-south, but the line also lost too many battles up front, and pass protection has been an issue, as well Advertisement  So while Halapio and Remmers heal up, change up front might benefit a Giants team that’s lost five straight and is desperate for a win over the Jets entering the bye

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