Things have changed since August’s preseason finale.
But Bill Belichick’s 5-0 New England Patriots are set to cross paths with Pat Shurmur’s 2-3 New York Giants again on Thursday night.
Players from both organizations’ past are set to do the same. Between the active rosters, practice squads and reserve lists, four Giants were once in Foxborough while four Patriots were once in East Rutherford.
Here’s a glance through those connections heading into the 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff at Gillette Stadium.
Corey Coleman, wide receiver – A torn ACL at the opening of New York’s training camp sent Coleman to injured reserve. The former No. 15 overall pick via Baylor previously spent one week on New England’s 53-man roster last September and was retained on the scout team before signing to New York’s. Coleman went on be elevated midway through the 2018 regular season, posting 71 yards receiving and five yards rushing to go with 598 yards on kickoff returns and 19 yards on punt returns.
Nate Solder, offensive tackle – New England selected the Colorado product in the first round back in 2011, and Solder would go on to make 95 starts in the regular season as well as 16 starts in the postseason for the war room that filled out his draft card. The Giants signed the two-time Super Bowl champion to a four-year, $62 million deal in March 2018. Solder, now 31, has started every game for New York since then. The left tackle has played every offensive snap in the process.
Eric Smith, offensive tackle – Smith has been a member of three AFC East teams since arriving as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia in 2017. And as an NFL sophomore, the 24-year-old tackle was in New England as part of the practice squad. Smith spent more than 15 weeks on the backfields before agreeing to join the New York Jets’ active roster. He’s in the same building now. Smith has been among Giants’ inactives since being claimed off waivers on Labor Day weekend.
Jon Halapio, center – Halapio is one of three ex-Patriots on the New York offensive line entering Thursday night’s meeting. The Florida Gator was chosen by New England in the sixth round of the 2014 draft, toured with the Boston Brawlers, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and Brooklyn Bolts, and returned for a second stint during the 2016 preseason. Halapio checks in as the Giants’ starting center, and one who has started 13 games for the organization dating back to 2017.
Matt LaCosse, tight end – LaCosse made his way into the end zone for a pair of touchdowns in the 2017 preseason finale between New England and New York. The 6-foot-6 tight end is on the other sideline these days, having agreed to terms with the Patriots on a two-year pact in March after notching a career-high 24 receptions with the Denver Broncos last campaign. LaCosse has reeled in three passes for 55 yards in three games for the New England this year while working through an ankle injury.
Marshall Newhouse, offensive tackle – Newhouse is in his eighth NFL locker room since landing in the fifth round of the 2010 draft out of Texas Christian. The veteran swing tackle would be in the Giants’ locker room for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, starting 20 games and playing in 24, and ultimately made his way to the Patriots this September. Newhouse has started both at right and left tackle thus far into his stay. The 31-year-old is scheduled to start on the latter side Thursday evening.
Calvin Munson, linebacker – Munson returns for his second season on the Patriots’ practice squad after totaling 60 tackles, a pair of sacks and one forced fumble through 14 games and a handful of starts as a Giants rookie in 2017. New York waived the undrafted San Diego State Aztec following the 2018 preseason. Munson would start New England’s 2019 preseason closer against his onetime club, recording four tackles over 90 snaps on defense and 19 on special teams.
Mike Nugent, kicker – Nugent, who went 2-for-2 on field goals and 3-for-4 on extra points in his Patriots debut last Sunday, spent training camp with the Giants back in 2017. The former second-round kicker would be released by New York at the roster deadline that September. Nugent, 37, has been a member of the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, Oakland Raiders and now the Patriots since then.