Hall of Fame Game: Raiders-Jaguars to launch NFL preseason
Aug. 4 (UPI) — Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders players will flood the field Thursday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, launching the 2022 NFL preseason in Canton, Ohio.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. EDT on NBC. The NFL’s other 30 teams will play their first preseason games next weekend. The game precedes the class of 2022 enshrinement ceremony, which will be held Saturday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“To be able to represent our league and our team, going there and playing, it’s just an exciting opportunity for us,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels told reporters earlier this week.
“Our team is excited and I’m excited to see them compete.”
Most teams keep their top players off the field for the majority of the preseason, in an effort to avoid injuries. Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday that starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence and backup C.J. Beathard won’t take snaps Thursday.
Jake Luton and Kyle Sloter are the other quarterbacks on the Jaguars’ depth chart. Luton will start against the Raiders.
“I’m excited,” Luton said Tuesday. “They let me know I was going to start, and I’m just excited to be back in a Jaguars uniform and get to go out and play with the guys. I couldn’t be more fired up.”
Jaguars running back Travis Etienne also will not play. Fellow running back James Robinson is still recovering from an Achilles injury, which should lead to more work for backup Snoop Conner.
McDaniels did not reveal who would play in the Hall of Fame Game.
“We will try to make the decisions we think are best for the team for what we need to do and get accomplished,” McDaniels said.
“We are all ready to play and ready to go. None of us have coached or played in a long time. This is not something where you just jump back in and it’s easy.”
Jaguars linebacker Travon Walker, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, could make his on-field NFL debut. Wide receiver Davante Adams, who joined the Raiders in an off-season trade, and other players atop the teams’ depth charts likely will see limited action.
NFL legends Tony Boselli, Cliff Branch, LeRoy Butler, Art McNally, Sam Mills, Richard Seymour, Dick Vermeil and Bryant Young will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday in Canton.
The Jaguars will continue the preseason with games against the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons. They will start the regular season with a game against the Washington Commanders on Sept. 11 in Landover, Md.
The Raiders will face the Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots in their other preseason games. They will start the season with a game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 11 in Inglewood, Calif.
The Los Angeles Rams will host the Buffalo Bills in the first regular-season game of the 2022 NFL campaign. That game will kick off at 8:20 p.m. EDT Sept. 8 in Inglewood.