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Cardinals' preseason schedule extended by Hall of Fame Game

The Arizona Cardinals learned Thursday they'll participate in the 2017 Hall of Fame Game, which means the team will play in five preseason contests this year.

Last week, Arizona Cardinals' president Michael Bidwill admitted the team was in a bind.

With training camp obviously set to start in late July, and University of Phoenix Stadium set to host a Metallica concert Friday August 4, the Cardinals needed a place to travel to be able to hold practices.

On Thursday, Arizona found its answer, as the Cardinals were selected to compete against the Dallas Cowboys in the 2017 Hall of Fame Game, which will take place Thursday, August 3 in Canton, Ohio. 

With former Cardinals' quarterback Kurt Warner set to enter the Hall of Fame during the enshrinement ceremony Saturday, August 5, Arizona now has an entire weekend of activities planned away from Glendale. 

It's unclear how long the setup and takedown process will take for the Metallica concert, but with the Cardinals competing on August 3 and the concert taking place August 4, Arizona shouldn't be impacted by the setup process prior to the team's travel.

The announcement the Cardinals will play in the Hall of Fame Game sets the stage for Arizona to compete in five preseason contests this year as opposed to four, which allows the team to open training camp earlier than other organizations. 

Last season, the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts were slated to play in the Hall of Fame Game (it was later cancelled due to poor field conditions), and both franchises took advantage of the early start date.

While the Cardinals held 11 practices during training camp prior to their first preseason contest in 2016, the Packers held nine practices and the Colts set just eight prior to the expected date of last year's Hall of Fame Game. 

With Arizona set to compete on August 3, the Cardinals could open training camp as early as July 24 or 25 this summer. 

Playing five preseason contests condenses the amount of time teams have in between games, as both the Packers and the Colts competed just five days after the Hall of Fame game was supposed to take place. 

After last year's cancellation, the Hall of Fame game is expected to take place without any complications this season, as NFL.com reported that new field turf was expected to be installed at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium this offseason. 


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