NFL may open 2019 season with Bears-Packers match-up: report

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 23: Trey Burton #80 of the Chicago Bears in action during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Santa Clara, CA. The Bears defeated the 49ers 14-9. (Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images)

CHICAGO — The dream scenario for the Bears when they started the playoffs in January would be to host the first game of the 2019 season.

That’s because the defending Super Bowl champion traditionally hosts the opening contest of the next year on Thursday night. When the Eagles beat the Bears in the playoffs on Jan. 6, it appeared that chance was gone.

But now, it seems that coveted slot could end up being the Bears after all — and they might get to face their biggest rival.

According to Sports Business Journal, the league is pushing towards having the Bears and Packers open up the new season on Thursday, Sep. 5.

Per reporter John Ourand, the league is leaning towards having the Bears host it due to their 100th anniversary celebration, which will take place during the entire 2019 season.

The Patriots, the Super Bowl LIII champions, would host the first Sunday Night Football game of the year.

This would be a major switch for the league, which has had the defending Super Bowl champion as the host for the Thursday night opener since 2004. Only the 2013 Baltimore Ravens were forced to open on the road after a championship due to a home game for the Baltimore Orioles being played on the same night.

Waiting for official confirmation could take some time since the NFL schedule isn’t traditionally released until mid-April.

The Bears did, however, confirm their offseason schedule for 2019, including dates for rookie minicamp, OTA and mandatory veteran minicamp.



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