The Giants have been without center Jon Feliciano, his two...

The Giants have been without center Jon Feliciano, his two primary backups Jamil Douglas and Ben Bredeson, emergency center Shane Lemieux, and Garret McGhin, who was snapping at practice Thursday. Backing up Garcia on Sunday will be Will Holden, a 6-7 tackle new to the position. Credit: AP/Winslow Townson

The offensive line likes to say it sets the tone for the team.

This is not what they mean by that.

With the Giants’ unit of big-bodied blockers on the line of scrimmage crumbling from injuries that have forced the team to scrounge around for position versatility and creative solutions just to be able to practice, coach Brian Daboll said on Friday that he is “revisiting” if and how much he intends to play his starting skill position players in Sunday night’s preseason game against the Bengals.

Daboll’s initial plan was for Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and the rest of the starters to be on the field tuning up for the regular season, but putting them behind a line that might not be able to hold up has the Giants wondering if the reward of getting those reps might not be worth the risk of injury (or even just the chaos and confusion that might ensue from playing deep backups up front).

“We’d like to play as many guys as we can, but I think we have to sit down as a staff and revisit it,” Daboll said. “I mean, we’re on like our sixth center right now.”

That would be Max Garcia, who at least is a veteran who has played the position in his NFL career, even if he began training camp as a third-string guard. He’s being pressed into service because the Giants will be without starter Jon Feliciano, primary backups Jamil Douglas and Ben Bredeson (who injured his right elbow on Thursday), emergency center Shane Lemieux, who is penciled in as the starting left guard, and tackle Garret McGhin, who was snapping in practice on Thursday but was injured on the final rep of the workout.

Backing up Garcia on Sunday will be Will Holden, a 6-7 tackle new to the position.

The left guard position also is very thin with rookie Josh Ezeudu out and many of the team’s other options at that spot listed above as center depth. Devery Hamilton lined up at left guard on Friday and likely will get the start. For depth behind him, the Giants had to re-sign Josh Rivas, whom they waived on Sunday to get to the 85-man roster limit, along with fellow rookie Chris Owens, who recently was waived by the Steelers.

Rivas at least knows the offense, having been with the Giants since the spring, and returns to a promotion of sorts; he had been a third-stringer and now will play with the second group. Owens has to learn the playbook in about a day if he is to participate in Sunday’s contest.

“The center and the left side have been in a little bit of flux,” offensive line coach Bobby Johnson said. “You deal with injuries every training camp. It’s probably just a fluke that it’s all the centers right now.”

Complicating the situation further is the presence of two offensive linemen on PUP — Nick Gates and Matt Peart — rehabbing from surgeries but also unavailable and taking up valuable real estate on the 85-man roster.

While the situation is disrupting plans for the entire offense this preseason, there is optimism that the situation will be resolved by the start of the regular season on Sept. 11. Feliciano has been running and participating in individual drills and appears nearly ready to rejoin the line in team reps. Lemieux, who left last week’s preseason opener with a toe/foot injury, has a good chance to be back for Week 1 or shortly thereafter.

“I think everybody will be back,” guard Mark Glowinski said. “The things we have right now are things we can get back for when the season starts. I think everybody should be back when the time comes.”

Another bright spot: The Giants’ two young offensive tackles have been relatively unscathed. Andrew Thomas, coming back from offseason ankle surgery, has not missed any time other than pre-scheduled reps off. Rookie first-round pick Evan Neal has played every down at right tackle this summer.

Neal laughed at the idea that he might be asked to move to center, given the predicament the team faces at the position.

“I don’t think they’re gonna do that,” he said. “I may snap the ball over the quarterback’s head.”

A few more injuries and who knows, we may get to see that happen.

More Giants