The Raiders will kick off their 2022 season in memorable fashion on Thursday night in Canton, Ohio for the NFL’s annual Hall of Fame Game, the ceremonial first football game of the season. The Raiders will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at 5 p.m. PDT.
The new look Raiders get an early first chance to show their stuff under new head coach Josh McDaniels, but don’t expect the on-field product to be flashy or reflective of where the team will be come Week 1 kickoff. The Raiders have barely been in training camp for two weeks, and on top of that, the team’s star players and first-stringers will likely not play or see very limited snaps.
But a full football game will be played, and each and every rep will be critically valuable to the new coaching staff, role players, rookies and every player fighting for a roster spot.
The Jaguars have already announced that QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne, the first and 25th overall picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, respectively, will not play Thursday night.
Among the weekend’s festivities in Canton will be the induction of Raider legend Cliff Branch to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Branch was famously a member of all three Raider Super Bowl teams under coaches John Madden and Tom Flores. The standout wide receiver was a three-time First Team All-Pro from 1972-74, led the NFL in receiving yards in 1974 and twice led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 1974 and 1976. Branch died in 2019 at the age of 71.
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