Tony Boselli, LeRoy Butler, Sam Mills, Richard Seymour, Cliff Branch, Art McNally, Dick Vermeil, and Bryant Young. Meet your Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022. But before the inductees are enshrined, the NFL Hall of Fame Game gets the party started in Canton, Ohio. Which teams will square off in the first NFL action since February?
When and where is the 2022 NFL Hall of Fame Game?
- Date and Time
Thursday, Aug. 4. The original start time for the 2022 NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Raiders and Jaguars was set for 8 p.m. ET. However, due to inclement weather in the area, the game has been delayed. There is no set time for kickoff, but NBC is reporting (as of 8:07 p.m. ET) that the earliest kickoff can be is 8:40 p.m. ET.
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio
After six months of agonizing anticipation, NFL football is back. The 2022 Hall of Fame Game kicks off the preseason with the Las Vegas Raiders facing the Jacksonville Jaguars. It will be the first opportunity for fans to see their new-look franchise. Josh McDaniels heads to Las Vegas, hoping to bring the Patriot Way with him. Meanwhile, Doug Pederson needs to rekindle the success he enjoyed in Philadephia to remain in Jacksonville long term.
Unfortunately, the Jaguars have already announced that Trevor Lawrence will not be starting in this game. The second-year QB is currently surrounded by a ton of questions after he noticeably struggled in his first year. Will he take a step forward this season with a new head coach and upgraded weapons around him?
Speaking of weapons, another player seeing a ton of buzz during training camp that we, unfortunately, will not see is Travis Etienne. The RB, who missed all of last season with an injury, has been the talk of the town lately. Lawrence, his former Clemson QB, was recently quoted as saying Etienne looks even better than he did in college.
“He looks like he’s in better shape than he was in our last year at Clemson,” Lawrence said. “Right now he looks great, he’s running really well, picking up the offense, done a great job in protections. All the things we’ve asked him to do, he’s done a great job.”
On the other side of the field, it is unclear if the Raiders will be playing any of their starters in this game. It is highly unlikely that we get to see Derek Carr and the newly-acquired Davante Adams, and if we do, it won’t likely be for long.
Who is playing in the Hall of Fame Game?
From 1971 to 2010, the Hall of Fame Game included one team from each conference (AFC and NFC). However, that concept concluded in 2011 and transitioned to teams with at least one distinguished alumnus inducted that year to add intrigue to the event.
The Jaguars haven’t played in the Hall of Fame Game since 1995 — the franchise’s first-ever contest. As a young organization, it’s not surprising that offensive tackle Tony Boselli is the team’s first inductee into the Hall of Fame.
On the other sideline, the Raiders make their fourth appearance in the annual bout — their first as Las Vegas. This year, WR Cliff Branch and DT Richard Seymour represent the silver and black in Canton.
History of the Hall of Fame Game
The inaugural Hall of Fame Game saw New York Giants take on the then-St. Louis Cardinals. The matchup unceremoniously ended in a 21-21 tie. The most recent competition featured the Pittsburgh Steelers coasting to a 16-3 victory over the Dallas Cowboys last year.
With a postponement (2020), two cancellations (2011 and 2016), and a pair of contests ending early due to weather (1980 and 2003), the Hall of Fame Game has dealt with its fair share of scheduling issues. Nonetheless, the 2022 iteration appears primed to welcome fans back to long-awaited NFL action.