The 2018 NFL preseason opens Thursday night with the Hall of Fame Game between the Bears and Ravens in Canton, Ohio. The annual matchup precedes the induction ceremony for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which is welcoming Brian Urlacher and others to its ranks this weekend.
The Hall of Fame Game will be the first chance to see Bears head coach Matt Nagy and the remodeled roster on the field in a competitive setting. However, the first-team players likely won’t play too much given it’s the first of five preseason games for the team, which will be back on the field next Thursday to face the Bengals. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky may not take the field at all.
Instead, it should primarily be a chance to get longer looks at players lower on the depth chart and draft picks who are looking to prove themselves.
For the Ravens, this game will be the first time that first-round pick Lamar Jackson takes the field for them. He’s expected to start in favor of Joe Flacco, who will be sitting this one out. Baltimore used the No. 29 overall pick on the former Louisville signal-caller and he’s expected to be the heir apparent to Flacco, possibly as soon as next season.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh has a plan in store for his QBs, he’s just not revealing it publicly.
“We have that set,” he said Friday, via the Baltimore Sun. “I never really talk about that. We just go do it. But we have the quarterback rotation set, and then we’ll organize the rest of it in the next day or two. They’ll be some guys who won’t play in that game. Probably, you might guess the guys who haven’t practiced as much that first week.”
The Hall of Fame Game may not be the intense, high-level football that we all crave, but it still marks the return of the NFL after a long offseason. Here’s how to tune in Thursday night.
2018 Hall of Fame Game, Bears vs. Ravens
Time: 7 p.m. CT
Live stream: NBC Sports Live