Is the Hall of Fame Game cancelled? That's what the Chicago Sun-Times reported late yesterday, citing league sources, who said that the plug has been pulled on the August 7 game in Canton, OH, featuring the St. Louis Rams and the Chicago Bears. Progress has been made in settlement talks, so much so that many think a deal could be coming early next week, but that still cuts it pretty close for the Hall of Fame Game to happen.
The Sun-Times piece makes it sound as though teams have been informed about the game being cancelled. Officials from the Hall of Fame said that they have yet to be notified by the NFL that the game is cancelled, but also said that would not be unusual as the league would inform teams first. I'm guessing, based on the timing of the report, that this was a late breaking decision yesterday.
Or maybe it isn't. NFL PR man Greg Aiello denied last night that the game had been cancelled.
Per the sources cited in the Sun-Times piece, players would report to camp on July 27 or 28, giving the teams very little time to prepare and the front offices left to accomplish an offseason's worth of work in a matter of days. Yesteday, Lions LB Zack Follett revealed that players in Detroit were supposed to report on July 25, unconfirmed. The two reports would seem to suggest that camps will start at the same time for all 32 teams; the Rams and Bears had been scheduled to start a week earlier, July 22.
I suspect this story has yet to play out fully.