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HOF game could mean early start to Bills’ camp

The Buffalo Bills will have some extra evaluation time this summer in setting their roster.

The NFL announced Thursday that the Bills will meet the New York Giants in the annual Hall of Fame game that kicks off the league’s exhibition season. The game will be played at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3, and be televised nationally on NBC.

A fifth preseason game for the teams also means they can open training camp early. Last year, the Bills opened camp on the last Sunday of July. If they move things up, camp would open at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford on Sunday, July 20.

The Bills have appeared three times previously in the Hall of Fame, most recently in 2009. The day before the game, former Bills receiver Andre Reed will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The last time Buffalo played in Canton, former defensive end Bruce Smith and team owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. joined the Hall of Fame the night before. A large contingent of Bills fans were on hand then, and a similar turnout is expected this year for Reed’s ceremony.

Former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan joins Reed in the 2014 Hall of Fame class, along with Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Aeneas Williams, Ray Guy and Claude Humphrey. The Giants will appear in the game for a fifth time, but first since 2002.

Game tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. March 25 and can be ordered by calling (877) 464-9526 or visiting Weekend ticket packages that include the enshrinement ceremony are also available at that website.