Joe Tippmann has officially entered the NY Jets starting center battle

Joe Tippmann might win the starting center job after all
NY Jets, Joe Tippmann
NY Jets, Joe Tippmann / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

The NY Jets have taken things slow with rookie center Joe Tippmann this summer. Very slow. The rookie second-round pick almost exclusively worked with the third-team offense prior to the team's first preseason game against the Cleveland Browns.

Even following Tippmann's impressive showing in the Browns game, the Jets only started using him sparingly with the second-team offense. The team was seemingly set on Connor McGovern as their Week 1 starting center.

But that might be changing. For the first time this summer, Tippmann was working with the starting offense during Tuesday's practice. The Jets, evidently impressed with the progress Tippmann has made, are giving him a chance to win the starting job.

Head coach Robert Saleh told reporters after practice that Tippmann and McGovern will alternate days as the first-team center for the foreseeable future. That's a remarkable climb for a player who was stuck with the third-stringers just two weeks ago.

Joe Tippmann could win the NY Jets starting center job

It seems inevitable that Tippmann will eventually take over the starting center job in New York. The Jets didn't draft Tippman 43rd overall in this year's draft to sit on the bench for four years.

While the Jets clearly prefer to pair Aaron Rodgers with a veteran center — hence why Wes Schweitzer was splitting reps with McGovern early in the summer — Tippmann's impressive performances have forced them to rethink those plans.

In two preseason games, Tippmann has allowed just one pressure in 44 pass-blocking snaps. His 80.5 Pro Football Focus pass-block grade is among the highest of any center in football this summer.

It's still very possible that McGovern wins the job and starts Week 1. After all, the six-year NFL veteran remains a quality starting center. He offers the Jets a solid baseline floor at the center position.

Tippmann is undoubtedly the future, though. The Jets may have planned for that future to arrive later in the year or even next season, but he's forcing their hand.

Joe Tippmann is very much in the mix to start at center come Week 1. He's thrust his name into the conversation.