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If camp delayed, don't play HOF Game, Bears' Harris says

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  • By NFL.com
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Bears safety Chris Harris wondered out loud to the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday: What's the point of playing the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame Game if training camps don't start on time?

"No one wants to play four exhibition games, but that's what we do," Harris said. "I'm cool with playing (the Hall of Fame) game if we get training camp started on time. But anything past (July 22), then I'm not cool with it.

"Even if we report three days later, then it's still past (July 22). The Bears' organization, Lovie (Smith) and Jerry (Angelo) made the decision to have training camp when we're having it because of that preseason game on Aug. 7. So that's the amount of time it would take for us to get ready for the game. That's how I look at it."

Pro Football Hall of Fame president Steve Perry told the newspaper that the game, which would feature the Bears against the St. Louis Rams, likely would be canceled if the labor dispute between NFL owners and players isn't settled in time. Rescheduling the game "would not be practical based on the Hall of Fame ceremonies."

Still, Perry, who told ESPN that ticket sales for the game are lagging well behind past years, said he was trying to remain optimistic.

"That's an important game, and the entire preseason is an important part of getting ready for the regular season," he said. "So everybody who's hoping to have a great football season this year wants the whole (season) to happen."

Harris doesn't share that optimism, nor does he believe anything he hears or reads about the labor talks.

"These are confidential meetings. Then how is stuff coming out of these meetings if the meetings are confidential?" Harris asked "What sources are they citing if they won't say their sources? Where is the information coming from?"

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