Like many Green Bay Packer fans, I was looking forward to sitting down Sunday night and watching some real football. Sure, it was essentially a pre-preseason game, but we were finally returning to real football… or so we thought. Of course I was disappointed when the Hall of Fame Game was cancelled due to, of all things, issues with the field paint. However, the short-term gratification of seeing the Packers play last night is probably greatly outweighed by the benefits of not playing the extra game.
The Jordy Nelson injury from last preseason is the perfect example as to why preseason games are risky, especially for players who are already expected to make the final roster. The games are a fun tease, a glimpse into the regular season, but the price is exposure to injury in a meaningless game. Sure, the extra playing time would have been nice for some of the guys on the bubble, but these players still have an entire preseason to show their stuff and make a name for themselves.
What the Packers did receive for their trouble was an extra week of training camp, something allowed by the NFL for the two teams playing in the Hall of Fame Game. That extra week of practice means that the Packers had a head start and an opportunity to get a leg up on every other team in the NFL (save for the Indianapolis Colts, who also received an extra week as the Packers’ opponents in the game) without running the risk of actually having to play the game. Acknowledging the short-term disappointment of the fans for not having the game last night, this worked out very well for the team in the long-run.
Aaron Rodgers also spilled the beans during an impromptu interview that he expects wide receiver Jordy Nelson and tight end Jared Cook to return to the practice field soon. Though it’s unclear whether “next week” means this upcoming week or the next, the remark does indicate that both players appear to be headed in the right direction and that they should be completely ready to go with plenty of time before the regular season opener at Jacksonville on Sept. 11th.
Rodgers tells Charles Woodson, Randy Moss and Matt Hasselbeck on @ESPN that he's hoping Nelson and Cook start practicing "next week."
— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) August 8, 2016
The cancellation also provided for a sort of reunion between newly inducted Hall of Famer Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers, something that I’m sure a lot of fans had fun watching. Now we wait for Friday where, we hope, we’ll finally have some Green Bay Packer football.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) August 8, 2016
Taylor O\'Neill is a Packer fan born and raised in Oshkosh, WI. He currently lives in Florida and is pursuing his PhD. Taylor is a writer with PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TaylorONeill87 for more Packer news.