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Patriots coach Bill Belichick hopes New England doesn’t have to face Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley, Giants, Patriots, Bill Belichick

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick knows what kind of talent New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is, and that’s why he hopes he doesn’t have to face him on Thursday night. Speaking to the media on Monday, Belichick had nothing but praise about Barkley and said even though he is an exciting player to watch, he doesn’t hope he has to gameplan for him.

“He’s an outstanding player,” Belichick said via Pro Football Talk. “You’re right, we haven’t faced him, and I hope we don’t, but we need to be ready for him. He’s a very competitive guy, I’m sure he’s doing all he can to get ready to go. He was close last week, so we’ll probably get him.”

The good news for Belichick is it looks like he is getting his wish. Although he hasn’t been completely ruled out, all signs are pointing towards Barkley needing at least another week to get ready, and this being a short week probably hasn’t helped the preparation.

Not only are the Giants expected to be without Barkley, but it also seems like a long shot that backup Wayne Gallman will be playing. Gallman suffered a concussion against the Minnesota Vikings, and on a short week, it’s going to be very hard to get him cleared in time.

That means it will be all fall on the shoulders of undrafted rookie Jon Hilliman. He rushed nine times against the Vikings after Gallman went out for only 20 yards. If the Giants want to pull off the upset, he is going to need to have a big game.