We've been casting a skeptical eye since last week on the possibility of the Chicago Bears actually playing their Aug. 7 preseason opener in the annual Hall of Fame game. Wednesday, the NFL appeared ready to relent.
League executive vice president Jeff Pash told reporters that he still hopes the game will be played but admitted: "It's getting tight. It's getting pretty tight. It would be pretty challenging so that is one of the things we'll have to focus on."
It would be cool for the Bears to play in that game a day after defensive end Richard Dent's enshrinement ceremony. But the logistics just don't seem worth the trouble. The Bears have already delayed the start of their training camp by four days, meaning the earliest they could report to Olivet Nazarene University is Tuesday. In reality, continuing uncertainty about final ratification of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) makes it impossible to predict when the Bears might get to camp.
Bears tailback Matt Forte and placekicker Robbie Gould have both expressed concern about playing in a preseason game with less than two weeks of training camp to prepare. As each day goes by, the odds increase that the Hall of Fame game will be canceled and the Bears will report to camp along with the rest of the league around Aug. 1. Stay tuned.