Preseason begins at home
Green Bay — As far as exhibition-game schedules go, the one the Green Bay Packers face this summer seems as innocuous as any other.
Of course, they probably thought that was the case last year when they were scheduled to play five but played only four because of an unplayable field at the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
In 2017, the Packers have to play only four games and they will start and finish at home, beginning with the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field sometime between Aug. 10-14.
Dates and times have not been finalized for the first three games, but the finale will be played against the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday, Aug. 31, at Lambeau Field.
In between, the Packers will play at Washington and Denver.
None of the four games is slated for national television, which means Thursday, Sunday and Monday games are less likely. The exact dates and times for the games usually are released at the same time as the regular-season schedule. The NFL has not announced a date for the regular-season release, but it typically comes in mid-April.
The Packers will play three NFC teams during the preseason, but nobody on the exhibition schedule will be on the regular-season schedule.
The Packers played Washington and Philadelphia in the regular season last year. The game at Washington will be the Packers’ third visit to the stadium in 20 months. They played a playoff game there Jan. 10, 2016, and a regular-season game there Nov. 20.
Last year, the Packers finished the summer with two exhibition games on the road and then opened the regular season with two on the road, leaving Lambeau Field untouched from Aug. 27 to Sept. 25.
That won’t be the case this year.
The benefit of playing at home on the final weekend is that coaches and scouts can go right to their offices after the game and begin the process of evaluating performances and cutting the roster to the final 53.
The Packers are allowed to begin training camp 15 days before the start of their first exhibition game, which means players could report as early as July 26 and begin practice the next day.
Brett Hundley and the Packers open the preseason schedule at Lambeau Field against the Eagles.