Packers to kick off preseason on national TV

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GREEN BAY — The Green Bay Packers will open the 2012 preseason on Thursday, Aug. 9, at San Diego on ESPN. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CDT.  According to Packers.com, this will mark the third straight year the Packers will play a preseason game on national TV, and the sixth time in Mike McCarthy’s seven seasons as head coach.

The NFL released the league-wide preseason schedule on Wednesday, April 4th, pinpointing the dates for the nationally televised games. The rest of the preseason games don’t have specific dates scheduled yet, but the opponents and locations are known.

In Week 2 of the preseason (Aug. 16-19), the Packers will host Cleveland. In Week 3 (Aug. 23-26), Green Bay travels to Cincinnati, and in Week 4 (Aug. 30-31), the Packers will host Kansas City. Those three games will be shown on the Packers’ statewide TV network.

The Thursday night preseason opener will almost certainly shift the Packers’ training camp schedule. Teams are allowed to open training camp 15 days prior to their first preseason contest, so rather than begin camp on a weekend, as the Packers have in the past (the preseason opener has fallen on a Saturday the last three years), they’ll likely have players report a few days earlier.

The full NFL regular-season schedule is expected to be announced later this month.