Joe Flacco. (Photo: Getty Images)

For those football fans that have been inexplicably eating up highlights of the glorified practices that is training camp, we have some good news for you. The NFL Hall of Fame Game on Thursday night from Canton, OH kicks off the league's preseason schedule. 

Finally, something close to real football with fully padded players and actual competition. 

The Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens will meet at football's hallowed grounds to take part in the Hall of Fame Game, two days before the Hall of Fame's induction ceremony. 

While the game is meaningless, fans around the league will take a vested interest in the game for many reasons. 


One of the largest questions going into the preseason is how the Ravens are going to use quarterback Lamar Jackson, selected at the end of the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The Louisville product and 2016 Heisman Trophy winner provides an athletic, running option under center to put some pressure on veteran Joe Flacco. 

The Super Bowl XLVII winner is coming off his worst season in the league and a poor preseason could force head coach John Harbaugh to find ways to get Jackson under center, not just as a decoy in the backfield or out wide. 

On the opposite sideline, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will be keen on getting off on the right foot in his second year in the league. 

Selected second overall in 2017, the North Carolina alum struggled in 12 games, throwing just seven touchdowns and seven interceptions while accruing 2,193 yards. 

Chicago has done a good job in adding a few more weapons for Trubisky to work with this year in Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller, which will only increase the sophomore's chances of developing into the franchise quarterback that the Bears hope him to be. 

While Trubisky might not be playing, Robinson and Gabriel are expected to suit up in new head coach Matt Nagy's first competitive game at the helm of the Bears where a new-look offense is expected to be far more dangerous in 2018. 

Here is how you can catch all the action at the Hall of Fame Game:

2018 NFL Hall of Fame Game viewing information

Date: Thursday, Aug. 2

Time: 8 p.m. ET


Free Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra

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