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NFL releases 2011 schedule — assuming there's a season

Green Bay and New Orleans are slated to inaugurate the season Sept. 8. Mediation aimed at resolving a labor dispute that could imperil the season continues.

April 19, 2011|By Sam Farmer
  • Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, middle right, and the rest of the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers will take on the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 8 if the NFL's labor dispute is resolved by then.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, middle right, and the rest of the Super Bowl… (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )

The NFL on Tuesday released its 2011 schedule.

Question is, should it be written in pencil?

Commissioner Roger Goodell, for one, sounded encouraged after a day of mediation aimed at resolving a labor dispute that could put the season in peril.

"We have every intention of playing the full schedule," he said, "and that's why we're releasing it as we normally do."

The season is scheduled to begin Thursday, Sept. 8 at Green Bay, when the Packers host New Orleans, a game that pits the past two Super Bowl champions.

2011 NFL team-by-team schedule

The first Sunday night game is Dallas at the New York Jets, and the opening Monday night doubleheader features New England at Miami and Oakland at Denver.

Among the other notable games:

Detroit will play host to Chicago on Oct. 10, the Lions' first Monday game since they lost to St. Louis, 35-0, in 2001.

For the fifth consecutive season, a regular-season game will be played in London. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Chicago Bears at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 23.

New England will play Indianapolis for the 12th time since 2002, counting the playoffs, the most times over that span for any non-divisional foe.

In the prime-time Thanksgiving Day game, San Francisco will play at Baltimore. That matches new 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh and his brother, John, coach of the Ravens.

"It's going to be historic," John Harbaugh said in an NFL Network interview. "We're still trying to talk our parents into coming. My dad and mom said they're not going to be within three time zones of the game. We'll get them there somehow."

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