The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Tuesday that the Green Bay Packers will face off against the Indianapolis Colts in the annual Hall of Fame Game to open the NFL preseason on Aug. 7.
Will Brinson of CBSSports.com passed along the news. Mike Spofford of the Packers' official site confirmed the matchup and noted it was the logical selection with longtime Packers quarterback Brett Favre, Colts receiver Marvin Harrison and Colts head coach Tony Dungy entering the Hall of Fame the night before the game.
Kevin Patra of NFL.com notes the game will kick off at 8 p.m. ET from Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
Both teams will be making their fifth visit to the HOF game. The Packers are 1-2-1 in their previous appearances, while the Colts are 2-2.
Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com made an early forecast for when training camp will begin for the teams, which will get a one-week jump on the preseason slate:
Rob Demovsky @RobDemovsky
With the Packers in the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 7, that means training camp 2016 will likely open on July 24. Ugh that's early.2016-2-16 19:20:42
Don't expect current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to celebrate the extra exhibition reps, though. Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com passed along his thoughts about the extra preseason game back in September, and he understood this was the likely result.
"We hope we don't get it," Rodgers said. "But we know it's going to be tough because No. 4 (Favre) is going to be going in."
He also told FoxSports.com the number of games should get cut down: "How much of a real game are you really simulating? I'd say a lot less than people think."
Coaching staffs are consistently taking additional steps with the hope of limiting the number of injuries. It's hard to completely prevent them, however, and the Packers learned that the hard way this past season when they lost top receiver Jordy Nelson to a knee injury in an exhibition game.
Ultimately, it's a good matchup between two teams that will enter the 2016 campaign with high expectations as Nelson and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck look to return to full strength. It's also a preview of a regular-season clash between the two sides.
Just don't expect to see much star power in the HOF game. Those marquee players who do take the field will probably one see one or two drives before the reserves take over. The preseason games are far more important to those players in terms of proving themselves.