Thursday, Aug. 1, Canton, Ohio; 8 p.m. ET on NBC
The annual Hall of Fame game features plenty of marquee names but just as many questions for two teams that spent the offseason undergoing significant changes in an effort to find their way back to championship contention.
New Broncos QB Joe Flacco will wait a week to make his debut, with Kevin Hogan announced as the starter ahead of second-round pick Drew Lock and fellow rookie Brett Rypien. Denver is also focused on its revamped offensive line getting in sync and identifying dependable receives beyond Emmanuel Sanders, who isn’t expected to play, and Courtland Sutton. One name to watch is rookie first-round pick Noah Fant, who already appears to be set for a key role this season at tight end.
The Falcons made changes to their offensive line yet again, but the personnel overall didn’t undergo a major shakeup. QB Matt Ryan’s priority during training camp is getting re-synced with offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who returns to Atlanta after Steve Sarkisian’s dismissal. WR Calvin Ridley (hamstring) will likely sit along with Julio Jones, who doesn’t expect to play until Week 1, and the Falcons aren’t planning to run their veteran skill talent out for long, if at all.
The Falcons’ defense is also adjusting to coach Dan Quinn taking over the play-calling.