FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Rex Burkhead's injured foot still isn't quite healed enough for him to suit up in a game. The running back, limited during Tuesday's walkthrough practice, will be held out for the second consecutive game.
Like last weekend in Washington, New England will once again go with three ball carriers – Sony Michel, James White, and Brandon Bolden – as rookie Damien Harris is a healthy scratch (not listed on the injury report).
Two players who didn't play in Washington will be back on the field tonight. Safeties Patrick Chung (heel) and Nate Ebner (groin), who are also crucial special teams contributors, will give it a go on this short week, meaning rookie CB Joejuan Williams joins Harris as a healthy scratch. He saw limited special teams duty last weekend against the 'Skins with Chung and Ebner sidelined.
On Wednesday, when New England distributed its final injury report of the week, the Patriots ruled out just one player. Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett suffered a hamstring injury early in the Washington game a few days earlier and isn't yet sufficiently recovered.
Dorsett's absence tonight could open the door for either of two rookie receivers, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski, both of whom saw a handful of offensive snaps versus the Redskins a few days ago.
New England's remaining inactive players are all healthy scratches: O-linemen Korey Cunningham, QB Cody Kessler, and rookie DL Byron Cowart.
The Giants, meantime, are missing a significant number of key players, including their top two running backs, Saquon Barkley (ankle) and Wayne Gallman (concussion). New York's pass catchers are also ailing, with starting tight end Evan Engram having been ruled out yesterday with a knee injury, and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion).
So many missing weapons on offense will make rookie QB Daniel Jones' job tonight even more difficult than it already promises to be against the NFL's most intimidating defenses.