FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — What could've been a great Thursday Night Football matchup now appears like it'll be a lopsided blowout.
When the New England Patriots host NFC East foe New York Giants, to whom they lost two Super Bowls, the latter will be without four major players.
On Wednesday, running back Saquon Barkley (ankle), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), tight end Evan Engram (knee) and running back Wayne Gallman (concussion) were all officially ruled out for Thursday's game.
To put the injuries into perspective, these are the Giants' current individual player ratings for Week 5 on EA Sports' Madden NFL 20, with those hurt in bold:
- 91 HB Barkley
- 89 RG Zeitler
- 87 TE Engram
- 84 WR Tate
- 84 K Rosas
- 83 SS Peppers
- 82 WR Shepard
- 81 DT Tomlinson
- 79 CB Jenkins
- 78 LG Hernandez
- 76 FS Bethea
- 76 TE Ellison
- 74 HB Gallman
Notably, all four players are members of the Giants' offense, which is set to take on the league's No. 1-ranked defense in Foxborough. The Patriots have outscored their opponents 155-34 through five games this season.
Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has showed early promise, winning two of his first three starts, but lacks experience and is tied with former Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham for 35th in league passer rating with 85.4. He'll face his toughest challenge yet with zero help on the ground and few targets.
New England's defense leads the league in interceptions (11), sacks (24.0), touchdowns against (4) and yards per game against (238.4).
The bright side for New York is the recent return of wide receiver Golden Tate, who last week played in his first regular season game of 2019, upon completion of a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy against PED use.
Tate had only three catches for 13 yards against Minnesota, a far cry from his typical output of years past, but is almost certainly destined for bigger games. He totaled four catches for 53 yards in three preseason games.
Also ruled out Wednesday was Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. Running back Rex Burkhead, wide receivers Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman, and safety Patrick Chung are all listed as questionable for Thursday night's game.
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