Mid-May, between the draft and organized team activities, is one of the slowest periods on the NFL calendar. In a mere three months, however, the professional football world will look a lot different: The 2017 preseason will already have started.
Preseason will traditionally – unless, of course, the field conditions do not allow the game to be played – be kicked off with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. This year’s version will feature the Dallas Cowboys go against the Arizona Cardinals.
One week later, the defending world champions will play their first competitive football game of the season: The New England Patriots will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first official week of preseason action.
Earlier today, the NFL has announced the date and time of the Patriots’ week one game as well as the details of the other three exhibition contests:
Week 1: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots: Thursday, August 10, 7:30 pm ET
Week 2: New England Patriots at Houston Texans: Saturday, August 19, 8:00 pm ET
Week 3: New England Patriots at Detroit Lions: Friday, August 25, 7:00 pm ET
Week 4: New York Giants at New England Patriots: Thursday, August 31, 7:30 pm ET
Prior to the first game of preseason, the Patriots might hold joint practice sessions with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In mid-April, when a rough schedule was originally announced, ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss reported that the two teams were in preliminary discussions about practicing together.
New England is also working with the Houston Texans and their head coach, former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, to join forces on the practice fields prior to their week two matchup nine days later. While neither report has led to an official announcement yet, it seems certain that New England will hold joint practices at some point during preseason.
And with the exact schedule now released, the Patriots and their opponents can finalize potential joint sessions.