Earlier in the day on Wednesday, I speculated whether or not the Minnesota Vikings could potentially be participating in this year's Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio to kick off the 2015 NFL pre-season. And, apparently, someone was listening.
Let games begin: Steelers will play Vikings in 2015 preseason Hall of Fame Game, Sun. Aug 9.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 11, 2015
Yes, our first taste of pre-season football in 2015 will also be our first taste of Minnesota Vikings football, as they will battle the Pittsburgh Steelers on 9 August.
As we mentioned in our earlier article, this means that the Vikings (and Steelers) will each get to play five pre-season games rather than the standard four, and will get to start Training Camp earlier than expected. Per NFL rules, the earliest the Vikings can require their players to report to camp is 25 July, which is 15 days before this first pre-season game. If the Vikings were not playing in the Hall of Fame Game, players likely would not have had to report until 30 or 31 July, with their first pre-season game coming on the weekend of 14-16 August.
This will be the Vikings' fourth appearance in the Hall of Fame Game, and they have a 2-1 record in the contest. They lost the 1970 edition and came out victorious in 1982 and 1997. This will be the sixth Hall of Fame Game appearance for the Steelers, who have a 3-2 mark in those games.
So, the Minnesota Vikings will be kicking off the 2015 NFL season. . .the pre-season portion of it, anyway. Are you excited, Vikings fans?