Hall of Fame Game could be played on short notice
If the Chicago Bears are told there will be a Hall of Fame Game even if they don’t get the customary 15 days to prepare for the first preseason game, they will be there.
That is what coach Lovie Smith said today as the owners and players inch closer to a labor agreement that will ensure the entire regular season is played but might not come in time to play all 65 preseason games.
The Bears and St. Louis Rams are scheduled to play in Canton, Ohio, Aug. 7, one night after former Bear Richard Dent and former Ram Marshall Faulk are inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Fawcett Stadium. The Bears are Rams are scheduled to report to training camp July 22 – a week from today – and have their first practices July 23.
“If an agreement gets done and the NFL says we’re going to play the game, we’ll be ready," Smith told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. "Right now, we haven’t been told that anything has been cancelled.
“The way the NFL is set up: 15 days before the first game. That’s what you want. That’s what it’s been every year. But this is a different year. If the NFL says we’re going to play a game and the Rams are dealing with the same thing, we’re going to get ready.”
The game is scheduled to be broadcast on NBC in prime time and if the NFL can at all pull the game off, it will be a good PR move following an offseason where the focus has been on how billionaire owners and millionaire players have squabbled dividing a $9 billion revenue pie.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune