The NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced today that the Indianapolis Colts and the Green Bay Packers will face off in the Hall of Fame game on August 7, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. in Canton, Ohio.
This figured to be an easy call for the Hall of Fame, as Packers legend Brett Favre and Colts legends Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy will be inducted into Canton that same weekend. The league often tries to schedule teams in the Hall of Fame game that have players being inducted that year, which made a Colts vs. Packers matchup seem like a legitimate possibility.
The game is the first preseason game of the year, as it takes place a week before week one of the preseason action gets underway. That means the Colts will play in five preseason games in 2016 before the regular season begins, and it also means an earlier start date for training camp this summer - likely around July 24.
The game will take place on Sunday night, August 7, while the Hall of Fame induction will take place the previous night, on August 6. That is when Dungy, Harrison, Favre, and the rest of the Class of 2016 will officially be enshrined into Canton. For those Colts fans looking to make a weekend of the ceremonies, however, note that very few of the Colts' key players are likely to play in the Hall of Fame game. Since it's an added fifth preseason game, teams often don't risk injuries in such a game, nor do they show much at all in the way of gameplanning or play-calling. That will likely be particularly true this year, as the Colts and the Packers will face off at Lambeau Field in the regular season.
This will be the Colts' fifth appearance in the Hall of Fame game, and they are 2-2 in the previous four. Their most recent time playing in the game came in 2008, as they took on the Washington Redskins in a 30-16 loss, the very first game of Tony Dungy's last season as a head coach. In that game, the Colts played without several key starters - including Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Bob Sanders, and Dwight Freeney - and those starters who did play only saw a few snaps.