The NFL will release the 2019 season schedule at 7 p.m. Wednesday, but that didn’t prevent the usual leaks from filtering through the league Tuesday.
The Bears already know the details of their season opener, which will be held Sept. 5 at Soldier Field against the rival Packers. The “Thursday Night Football” game, which traditionally features the reigning Super Bowl champions, will instead mark the start of the league’s 100th season and kick off the Bears’ centennial.
The Bears’ game in London against the Raiders will take place Oct. 6. The Bears figure to take their bye the next week to help them recover from transcontinental travel.
In February, Sports Business Journal reported that the Bears were likely to serve as the Lions’ Thanksgiving Day opponents in Detroit. It would be the Bears’ third Thanksgiving game against the Lions since 2014, and fourth in six years — they played at the Packers in 2015.
NFL Network will announce the schedules Wednesday. Teams cannot confirm their schedule until then.
Bears coach Matt Nagy said last month that he favored a short trip across the pond. When he went to London with the Chiefs in 2015, the team flew out on a Thursday and held only one practice there. If the Bears do the same, they’d stay at Halas Hall through their Wednesday practice.
He said the Bears plan on the trip being “90 percent football and just a sprinkle” of culture.
“It’s great culture for the guys to see and be a part of, and some guys have never been over there,” Nagy said. “That’s a part of life. If you can balance it and make sure you do it the right way, I’m good with that.”
The Bears’ slate — besides two games apiece against the Packers, Lions and Vikings — includes home games against the Cowboys, Giants, Chiefs, Chargers and Saints. They’ll travel to face the Broncos, Eagles, Redskins and Rams. The Bears are technically the road team in the London game.
They’re set to host the Panthers in their first preseason game and the Titans in their last, with trips to the Giants and Colts in between. Dates and times will be announced soon.
The Bears will make all single-game tickets available at ChicagoBears.com/tickets at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Those on the season-ticket priority list can enter a pre-sale from 7-8 p.m. For the first time, Soldier Field will honor only mobile tickets.