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The six-month wait for NFL football ends tonight with the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders will square off at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium at 8 pm ET.
While televised football is a sight for sore eyes, Thursday night’s game won’t exactly be Chiefs vs. Bills in the AFC Championship.
You’ll see plenty of lesser-known players trying to make a roster, while the stars play limited snaps, if at all.
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But there is still intrigue as the NFL preseason progresses.
Three USFL players will be among those competing Thursday night with quarterback Kyle Sloter suiting up for the Jaguars and cornerback Ike Brown and wide receiver Isaiah Zuber getting their shots with the Raiders.
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Sloter, who has spent time with the Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and Raiders, threw for 1,798 yards and nine touchdowns in his only season with the New Orleans Breakers.
“There’s a lot of history in this game,” Sloter said, according to Fox Sports. “It’s an honor to be able to play in it.
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“It’s definitely cool to be back,” he added, referring to Tom Benson Stadium. “It’s always nice to be in familiar territory. Mentally, I’ve been able to picture myself in some of the positions I’m going to be in, just being around me and knowing what it feels like to be on that grass and in that stadium.”
Sloter should get ample opportunity to show off his skills as Trevor Lawrence, the 2021 NFL No. 1 overall pick, will not play Thursday night. Sloter believes his recent playing time will be an advantage in his bid to make the Jaguars’ roster.
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“I’m one of the few people who will have seen the action of the game as recently as a month and a half ago,” Sloter said. “A lot of these guys are playing their first game in a year this time, where preseason was the only time they played.” [play]. Or they are rookies who have not played at this level before.
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“So I’m sure, for a lot of guys, the lights are going to be a little bright and mistakes are going to be made. For others, some people are going to be up to the task.”
Zuber led the USFL in receiving touchdowns with five, and Brown had 16 tackles and two interceptions during the USFL season.
Both Jacksonville and Las Vegas are entering the season with a new head coach.