Preseason schedule is set

The Green Bay Packers have finalized dates and kickoff times for their final three preseason games, the team announced today.<p>

The Packers will play each exhibition, beginning at 7 p.m. (CDT). After beginning the preseason on Monday night, Aug. 16 against Seattle at Lambeau Field, Green Bay will play Saturday, Aug. 21 at home against the New Orleans Saints. Green Bay finishes the preseason on the road with Friday night games at Jacksonville on Aug. 27 and at Tennessee on Sept. 3.

The Packers' broadcast partners will air the final three games throughout Wisconsin and the upper Midwest. Bill Maas serves as color analyst, joining sideline reporter Jessie Garcia, pregame and halftime analyst Larry McCarren and play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan.

By playing their third preseason game on a Friday - at Jacksonville - GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman and his staff will have an extra 24 hours to evaluate players before the NFL's first roster reduction date, Aug. 31. By 3 p.m. (CDT) that day Green Bay's roster must stand at 65, not counting exemptions for those currently in NFL Europe.

After their Sept. 3 preseason finale against Tennessee, the Packers must reduce their roster to 53 players by 3 p.m. (CDT) Sept. 5.

The Packers will open the regular season at Carolina Sept. 13 on ABC's Monday Night Football. The NFL is expected to announce the balance of the 2004 regular-season schedule by May.

The Packers will have at least three more roster decisions than they've had in previous years.

At last week's Annual NFL Meetings in Florida, owners also agreed to expand the practice squad from five to eight players, meaning the Packers could bring back three more players they waive during preseason.

The opener with Seattle marks the Packers' first ESPN appearance during the preseason since 1998, when Green Bay met Kansas City in the American Bowl at the Tokyo Dome. This also marks the 12th consecutive preseason (1993-2004) the league has given Green Bay at least one national television appearance.

Green Bay will play two of its four preseason opponents during the regular season: Jacksonville and Tennessee, both at Lambeau Field.

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