slides: What to Watch For: Giants vs Patriots Preseason Game 4
Thursday, August 31, 2017
GoLocalWorcester Sports Team
It will mark the 13th straight year in which the Giants and Patriots will play in the preseason.
The game is set for Thursday, August 31 at 7 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.
The game will also be a final opportunity for players to earn a roster spot.
“It’s another opportunity. It’s another opportunity. It’s a finite number. It’s not unlimited,” said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during his press conference this week.
NFL rosters will be cut down to 53 by 4 p.m. Saturday, September 2.
"The teams in this league, we're all going to keep a 53-man roster. We're going to activate 46 players on game day, so seven players will be inactive. I mean, I can't imagine that there are too many players at 51, 52 and 53 that are a key part of the game plan. Not saying they're not important, not saying they don't have a role, but I mean, realistically, I don't think the decision between the 53rd and 55th spots are going to impact too many teams' game plans," said Belichick.
What to Watch For
Things to watch for in preseason game four include quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett and tight end James O'Shaughnessy.
Bubble players and newly acquired linebacker Marquise Flowers are also on the list.
See What to Watch For in the Slideshow Below
The most important thing about preseason game number four is for the Patriots to get out of it without any injuries.
The Patriots have already lost wide receiver Julian Edelman and defensive end Derek Rivers for the season due to injury.
Receivers Matthew Slater and Malcolm Mitchell, and defensive end Deatrich Wise have also missed significant time.
It is unclear how much Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett will play on Thursday night. It is possible that Brissett could play all 60 minutes.
For Garoppolo this would be his last chance to help his stock for free agency. In the Patriots preseason game against Detroit, Garoppolo went 7 of 12 for 83 yards, leading the Patriots to a win.
Brissett has not seen action since the Patriots second preseason game against Houston. He has also not seen a lot of reps in training camp.
Tight end James O'Shaughnessy is battling to be the third tight end on the Patriots roster.
O'Shaughnessy was acquired by the Patriots during the 2017 NFL Draft in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs.
If Bill Belichick decides to keep a third tight end, O'Shaughnessy would be the favorite to get that position.
It is also possible that Belichick just keeps Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen and use a tackle as an extra blocker.
There are a number of players that enter this game on the roster bubble for the Patriots.
Some of the most notable ones that could be fighting for their jobs in New England include Cyrus Jones, Jordan Richards, O’Shaughnessy, LaAdrian Waddle, D.J. Foster, Elandon Roberts, Justin Coleman, Austin Carr and others.
Earlier this week, the Patriots made news by acquiring linebacker Marquise Flowers from the Cincinnati Bengals.
Flowers, 25, has played in 32 NFL games over the last three seasons, seeing most of his action on special teams.
The Patriots have had numerous players on both the special teams unit and defense miss time this preseason (Wise, Rivers, Matthew Slater) and Flowers could add depth.