The Chicago Bears 2018 season was impacted on Tuesday by Brian Urlacher’s recent acceptance into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as the team learned that they would be participating in the 2018 Hall of Fame Game. The Bears will take on the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday August 2nd in Canton, Ohio to kick off the Hall of Fame weekend ceremonies and unofficially kickoff the 2018 NFL season.
Being named to the game is a positive as it benefits new head coach Matt Nagy.
Due to the game, the Bears will start training camp earlier than most teams to prepare for the game as the team will most likely now start training camp in mid-July rather than late-July . The team will have an extra mini-camp, but most importantly have a fifth pre-season game compared to the standard four games for NFL teams.
The earlier camp start and extra game will provide invaluable live and game reps for a young team learning a new offensive game plan. It also allows Nagy to get more accustomed to what will work best for his players.
The Bears were previously scheduled in 2011 to take part in that year’s Hall of Fame game, but the game was cancelled due to the 2011 NFL player lockout. In 2005, the team took on the Miami Dolphins in that year’s game and it would provide much needed experience for rookie quarterback Kyle Orton that season.
Orton was better prepared having five pre-season games as he was the Bears starter that season helping the team to an 10-4 record and a division title.
The game, although meaningless in outcome, is still cherished by all NFL fans nationwide as it signals the true return of football from the off-season and hopes for a great season to come. The weekend, from the game to Urlacher’s enshrinement, will be a memorable one for all Bears fans.