The New York Giants could be in store for a long, long night at Gillette Stadium on Thursday.

There was some hope in the Meadowlands that Week 6 could mark the return of Saquon Barkley, who sustained a high ankle sprain Sept. 22. The star running back almost immediately jumped ahead of his projected timetable for return and last week expressed belief he’d be able to suit up against the New England Patriots.

Unfortunately for Barkley and the Giants, it looks like the 22-year-old’s absence will continue through the upcoming “Thursday Night Football” tilt, per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.

Rookie quarterbacks historically have struggled in Foxboro, so Daniel Jones likely was going to find himself behind the eight ball even if the Giants were fully healthy. But with Barkley, backup RB Wayne Gallman and top wideout Sterling Shepard all expected to be inactive, a brutal evening could be on the horizon for Jones, who will be tasked with leading a heavily shorthanded New York squad against arguably the best defense in football.

Yeah, this one might get ugly.

Thumbnail photo via Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports Images