After a six-month absence, the NFL is back Sunday night when the preseason kicks off in Canton. The Pittsburgh Steelers will take on the Minnesota Vikings in the annual Hall of Fame Game, while the other 30 teams will start their four-week march to the regular season next week.
These two teams met on a neutral site the last time they played each other in 2013. The Vikings topped the Steelers at Wembley Stadium in London as part of the NFL International Series. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 383 yards, but it was Minnesota's star running back who stole the show -- Adrian Peterson rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns in the 34-27 win.
Peterson hasn't played since Week 1 of the 2014 season and he likely won't take the field Sunday night. Last week, the 30-year-old told ESPN, "I kind of grew out of trying to play in the preseason." With second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater firmly entrenched as the starter now, Vikings fans will have to wait a little longer to get a glimpse at the Bridgewater-Peterson combination that's bound to boost an offense that finished last season near the bottom of the league.
Meanwhile, the Steelers will aim to prove they can still put together a stout defense following a down 2014 and multiple departures -- longtime coordinator Dick LeBeau is now with the Tennessee Titans, and Jason Worilds, Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor all retired.
But as is the case during the preseason, big-name starters will cede the field to backups and rookies who will look to earn roster spots and playing time.
Throughout the evening, the Sunday Night Football crew will interview several of the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a group which includes former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis and former Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff. NBC has full coverage of the game, with NBC Sports Live Extra providing live streaming for cord-cutters.
How to Watch
When: Sunday, Aug. 9, 8 p.m. ET
Where: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio
Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Paul Burmeister
Online: NBC Sports Live Extra