Thursday night’s meeting between the New England Patriots and New York Giants will mark the final one with rosters of 90.
And, as currently constituted, there’s some familiarity on those 3-0 preseason rosters that extends beyond Bill Belichick.
Here’s a glance through the ties, even if only a few ex-Patriots and ex-Giants see snaps following the 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Gillette Stadium.
Bennie Fowler, wide receiver – Fowler signed with New England a week into the 2018 regular season, and was released after four days. The Giants subsequently added the former Michigan State Spartan, Denver Bronco and Chicago Bear in October. Fowler caught 16 passes for 199 yards and one touchdown over 10 games and five starts last season. He re-signed with New York in March.
Corey Coleman, wide receiver – Now on injured reserve after suffering a torn ACL at the start of training camp, Coleman was signed by the Patriots the same day as Fowler last September. New England waived the 2016 first-round pick after one week, and a stint on the practice squad followed for Coleman prior to him joining New York’s. He tallied 71 receiving yards and 617 combined return yards by campaign’s end.
Jon Halapio, center – Drafted by New England’s war room at No. 179 overall in 2014, Halapio has twice been a member of the Patriots. His latest tour arrived in the summer of 2016, and since then, the well-traveled interior lineman out of Florida has started eight of the 12 games he’s appeared in for New York. The Giants re-signed Halapio, an exclusive-rights free agent whose 2018 ended on IR, over the offseason.
Nate Solder, offensive tackle – Solder started 95 games over the course of his regular-season tenure with the Patriots, who selected the Colorado product in the first round of the 2011 draft. Solder departed for the Giants on a four-year, $62 million contract as 2018 free agency got underway. The 31-year-old left tackle went on to start every game for New York during the initial year of it.
Matt LaCosse, tight end – LaCosse caught five passes for 60 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the 2017 preseason finale between the Patriots and Giants. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end, who’d notch a career-high 24 receptions this past regular season while in Denver, reached a two-year deal with the Patriots in March. LaCosse has missed New England’s last two exhibitions due to an ankle injury.
Calvin Munson, linebacker – New England crossed paths with Munson to close out this past August. And Munson, an undrafted free agent in 2017 who posted 60 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble as a Giants rookie, later signed to the Patriots’ practice squad in October. Munson played 24 snaps on defense and 12 on special teams in New England’s dress rehearsal versus the Carolina Panthers.
A.J. Howard, safety – Howard spent three months on the Giants’ practice squad as an undrafted rookie in 2018, but he did not sign a futures contract in January. Instead, the safety by way of Appalachian State joined New England’s practice squad and remained there on through Super Bowl LIII. Howard, who originally entered with the Arizona Cardinals, has recorded five tackles with the Patriots this preseason.