The Green Bay Packers will play their first two preseason games of 2009 at home and will finish with two road contests, including one against defending NFC champion Arizona. The preliminary schedule was communicated by the National Football League on Monday.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (Gold pkg.)
Midwest Shrine Game
Bishop's Charities Game
Specific dates and times to be announced
The Packers have designated the preseason opener against the Browns as the 60th annual Upper Midwest Shrine Game. The tradition, which began in 1950, has raised more than $3.1 million for the Midwest Shrine's burn centers and hospitals for crippled children. Green Bay has won four of its last five and eight of its last 10 in the Shrine series. The Packers and Browns will meet in the preseason for the first time since 2003, a contest that ended a four-year preseason series between the clubs.
The Week 2 preseason contest against the Bills will be the 49th annual Bishop's Charities Game, a charitable contest initiated in 1961 by Vince Lombardi and the Diocese of Green Bay that has raised more than $3.4 million. Green Bay and Buffalo last met in the preseason in 2005 in Buffalo. The Bills will be making their first preseason game appearance at Lambeau Field since 1979, having played the Packers twice in the preseason in Madison (1989, 1991) and once in Toronto (1997). Buffalo also opposed the Packers in the annual Family Night Scrimmage at Lambeau Field in 2005.
The Packers' first road preseason contest will be at Arizona against the defending NFC champion. The Cardinals are one of Green Bay's regular-season opponents in 2009, a game that also will be played in Arizona. The two clubs last met in the preseason in 2002, also out west. That's the only preseason meeting between the teams since the Cardinals moved to Arizona from St. Louis in 1988.
The preseason concludes with a road contest at Tennessee, as the Packers and Titans will meet in the preseason finale for the eighth consecutive year. Tennessee has won three straight in the series and five of seven overall.
Exact dates and times for the Packers' preseason games are to be determined. All four will be produced by CBS Sports and aired on Green Bay's WFRV-TV (Ch. 5), in conjunction with Milwaukee's WTMJ-TV, over a nine-station network throughout the state of Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Northeastern Minnesota. In addition to WFRV-TV and WTMJ-TV, the games are televised over WKOW/ABC, Madison, Wis.; WAOW/ABC, Wausau/Rhinelander, Wis.; WXOW/ABC, La Crosse, Wis.; WQOW/ABC, Eau Claire, Wis.; WYOW/ABC, Eagle River, Wis.; WJMN/CBS, Marquette, Mich.; and KQDS-TV/FOX, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis.
The Packers will kick off the 2009 regular season at Lambeau Field in a prime-time Sunday night contest against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 13, the 178th installment in the NFL's oldest rivalry. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
The league is expected to release the remainder of the regular-season schedule sometime in April.