EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It's a good bet that Eli Manning and Odell Beckham will spend all of Thursday night standing on the sidelines. Victor Cruz and most of the starting offensive line figure to play, though only for a series or two. Same goes for much of the starting defense.
In other words, if you want to see anything that matters, don't blink.
The Giants' fourth preseason game -- which takes place against the New England Patriots at the Meadowlands - isn't about the first team or preparation for the regular season. It's mostly about some of the down-roster battles.
So assuming we're not going to learn much more about the offense or the offensive line or anything that can have a real impact on the start to the season, here are three other things you might want to watch -- if you really want to watch:
1.) The fourth receiver, whoever that is
Still giddy over the comeback of Cruz, the Giants think they've got a Big Three of Odell Beckham, rookie Sterling Shepard and Cruz. But who's next? And what has happened to Dwayne Harris, last year's third receiver who has only taken eight snaps on offense this preseason?
Right now it looks like Tavarres King and Geremy Davis are the leaders in the battle for the fourth receiver job. But it's possible this game, where both figure to get a lot of action, will tell that story.
2.) Andre Williams, assuming he's still in the plans
It was all part of the plan, according to head coach Ben McAdoo, that Williams didn't touch the ball in the third -- and most important -- preseason game. OK, sure. It had nothing to do with his bad game and fumble in Buffalo. Still, since Williams was a fourth-round pick and McAdoo has spoken highly of him in the past, he still figures to be the primary backup to Rashad Jennings this season.
But after last week's no-show you'd have to believe the door is a little open for Orleans Darkwa or rookie Paul Perkins to get some consideration with a really strong performance (and not just a fourth-quarter, garbage-time, stat-padding performance, either). Of course, since Williams figures to play a lot early in this game, it's also his chance to get back in McAdoo's good graces.
3.) Struggling backup QB Ryan Nassib
He's not going anywhere and the Giants aren't likely to bring in another quarterback at this stage to back up Eli Manning, so it's highly doubtful he's playing for his job. That said, he's had a string of shaky performances this summer and it would be nice if he put at least one good game to restore some confidence in him.
So far this summer he's completed a dismal 32.6 percent of his passes (15 of 46) for 169 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Right now nobody thinks the Giants would even be a little OK if Manning had to miss a game.