The NFL announced on Tuesday that the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will square off in the 2018 Hall of Fame Game on August 2nd. The game is the first of the preseason. The inductions of Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher is the likely reason for this matchup.
Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens will be enshrined in August, but it did not net the 49ers a Hall of Fame Game appearance. If finalist John Lynch had also been inducted, we might have seen the 49ers playing the fifth preseason game. Instead, they will operate on their normal schedule.
The preseason schedule is not a huge deal, but this year, we might see some new opponents. The 49ers face the Los Angeles Chargers each year, and the Denver Broncos have become a regular opponent. The 49ers face both teams during the coming regular season. My guess is the Chargers game still happens in order to preserve the riveting NorCal-SoCal preseason “rivalry.” The Broncos game still makes sense given John Lynch’s history with the team, but I am curious to see if the NFL will set up two preseason games featuring 49ers regular season opponents.