The Giants will be without arguably their three best offensive skill players Thursday against the Patriots.
Running back Saquon Barkley will miss his third straight game. He was unlikely to play, ESPN's Jordan Raanan reported Tuesday morning, citing multiple sources. Barkley, who suffered a high ankle sprain Sept. 22 against the Buccaneers, was not expected to be cleared by doctors in time for the game, according to the report.
Barkley, meanwhile, was not ready to rule himself out ahead of the contest.
"Every day I continue to feel better," he said Tuesday. "I’m taking it day by day. ... I do not know if I’m playing Thursday yet. No decision has been made."
Reports initially said Barkley would miss four to eight weeks, but, determined to beat that timeline, the Pro Bowl running back was taking handoffs and making cuts at near full speed on the side during practices last week and was listed as a limited participant on Monday's estimated practice report.
Giants coach Pat Shurmur told reporters Monday "there's a possibility" Barkley could play against the Patriots. But Barkley's ankle will now have an additional 10 days to heal before the Giants' Week 7 game against the Cardinals.
Engram, Shepard and Barkley are three of the Giants' top four receivers this season, accounting for nearly 55% of the team's receptions.
Rhett Ellison will likely get the start in Engram's absense. Golden Tate, Cody Latimer and up-and-coming rookie Darius Slayton figure to be quarterback Daniel Jones' top targets at wide receiver until Shepard returns.