New England Patriots

Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants looks on from the bench after being injured against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff,

The Patriots defense has less time to prepare this week, with the Giants coming to Foxboro for Thursday Night Football. But they also have significantly less firepower to worry about on the Giants offense.

According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, wide receiver Sterling Shepard is expected to miss Thursday’s game at Gillette Stadium. Shepard is in the concussion protocol and it sounds like the short week will be too quick of a turnaround.

Star running back Saquon Barkley, meanwhile, continues to recover surprisingly quickly from a high ankle sprain on Sep. 22 against the Buccaneers. Giants head coach Pat Shurmur is leaving open the possibility of Barkley playing, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Tuesday morning that Barkley, along with Shepard, is unlikely to play. Add tight end Evan Engram to the list with a sprained MCL, per Schefter.

But wait, there’s more! According to Raanan, backup running back Wayne Gallman is also expected to miss Thursday’s game. He also has a concussion.

So that leaves Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones with slot receiver Golden Tate as his clear No. 1 weapon. The injuries also likely mean bigger roles for WRs Darius Slayton and Cody Latimer, RB Jon Hilliman, and TE Rhett Ellison.

Barkley told reporters on Tuesday that he’s mentally preparing to play on Thursday night. It’s still likely that he and Shurmur simply want to force the Patriots to at least prepare for the possibility of facing him. But even with Barkley on the field, the Giants are going to be severely shorthanded on offense.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at