Days before the 2019 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots were reported to be planning to use one of their picks to take Duke quarterback Daniel Jones. However, the New York Giants took Jones with the No. 6 overall pick, seeing him as an heir-apparent to veteran quarterback Eli Manning. On Thursday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will finally see Jones in action up-close when they take on the Giants at Gillette Stadium in Week 6.

The unbeaten Patriots (5-0) were installed as an early 16.5-point favorite over the Giants (2-3), who suffered their first loss in three games with Jones as starter. During his pre-Draft workouts with the Patriots, Jones impressed the team’s coaching staff, led by Belichick.

“Again, a good grasp of the offensive system—protections, routes, route concepts and why they’re used in different combinations and in certain situations,” Belichick said of Jones, adding that the quarterback is also a very impressive person.

Belichick expects Jones to show the same maturity, good football IQ and overall leadership when they collide on Thursday. In his first four games with the Giants, Jones has thrown for 760 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions. He also ran for 78 yards and two scores for the Giants.

Belichick will face Barkley for the first time

Aside from Jones, Belichick told Giants' reporters in a conference call that he’s hoping that second-year rusher Saquon Barkley won’t play Thursday.

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It was reported that Barkley will be out for six weeks due to an ankle injury but the running back declared that he could come back and face the Patriots. While he’s hoping that Barkley won’t play on Thursday, Belichick said he will be ready for the dynamic rusher, whom he will face for the first time. “I’m sure he’s either going to be back or is close to being back, so we have to be ready for him,” said Belichick.

In an interview, Barkley said playing against veteran quarterback Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots would be awesome. In three games this season, Barkley carried the ball 37 times for 237 yards and a touchdown.

Giants to be shorthanded vs Patriots

According to Michael McMahon of New England Sports Network (NESN), the Giants could be shorthanded when they take on the Patriots on Thursday. The Giants held a walkthrough on Monday, but if they practiced, some of their key offensive players won’t be able to participate.

Among them were wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), running back Wayne Gallman (concussion) and tight end Evan Engram (knee). Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said Shepard won’t play against the Patriots because he was placed on concussion protocol on Monday. The Patriots are fresh from a 33-7 win over the Washington Redskins in Week 5, thanks to Brady's performance.

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