The closest position battle of the preseason has come to an end.
Nick Gates will start at center for the Giants on Monday night, Joe Judge said on Saturday. He edged out veteran Spencer Pulley for the job after the two split reps for most of the past month.
"He’s done a good job for us through camp," Judge said. "Spencer has done a tremendous job competing. We’re very happy with both of those guys on our roster, we’re very fortunate to have both guys. Nick brings a lot of flexibility to other positions. But that’s the direction we’re going to go right now."
It will be the third different position Gates has started at in his fourth career NFL start. Last year he lined up at guard and tackle. He was an emergency center for the Giants in 2019, but this year he made the full conversion to the position.
The biggest adjustment, Gates said, is having to make the calls at the line of scrimmage.
"It’s the first time I have been in charge of the line," Gates said. "It’s nice. It’s a lot more responsibility mentally. It’s something I’m getting used to."
Notes & quotes: WR Golden Tate (hamstring) was listed as questionable for Monday’s game. If he can’t play fully, expect C.J. Board to see snaps on offense. "First off, he’s got top-end speed, that’s definitely something that sticks out to you," Judge said of Board, who was claimed off waivers from the Jaguars at the start of training camp. "He’s a guy with a real good work ethic, he’s made plays, he’s been productive in practice . . . he’s somebody that has a skill set to really work with and develop." . . . LB Tae Crowder and TE Levine Toilolo were also listed as questionable with hamstring injuries . . . Mike Tomlin’s career record as Steelers coach in Monday Night Football games is 15-2. He is 41-22 in prime time games.