FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The New England Patriots and New York Giants will meet in the preseason for the 31st time Thursday night.

However, unlike the past 16 preseasons, the two teams are meeting in the first game rather than the last before the regular season. (The tradition started in 2005, but there was no preseason in 2020 due to the pandemic.)

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on The CW Providence.

The Patriots will be without running back James White, who announced his retirement Thursday morning after eight seasons with the team. White wouldn’t have suited up for the game anyway as he recovers from a hip injury that cut his 2021 season short.

Defensive back Jabrill Peppers will be donning different shades of blue and red after signing with the Patriots in the offseason. He spent the previous three seasons with New York.

The two teams also swapped coaches in recent months. Brian Daboll, who was an assistant in New England from 2000–2006 and again from 2013-2016, is the Giants’ new head coach. He replaces Joe Judge, who was fired by New York earlier this year and later joined the Patriots as a quarterback coach and offensive assistant.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also has a history with the Giants, having served as an assistant coach from 1979–1990.

Thursday night’s game is the first of three preseason contests for the Patriots. They’ll host the Carolina Panthers on Friday, Aug. 19, then fly west to Las Vegas to face the Raiders on Friday, Aug. 26.