When does the 2023 NFL preseason start?

Yes, football is back... even if it doesn't quite count and isn't as high-quality.
New York Jets v Cleveland Browns
New York Jets v Cleveland Browns / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

Whoever said something like, "NFL preseason games don't mean anything" probably never talked to a fringe player buried deep on a depth chart desperately hoping to make a team's regular-season 53-man roster.

With teams carrying up to 90 players on a preseason roster, nearly half the players in the league are going to be let go by the time the exhibition period ends and the regular season begins.


Most fans aren't going to be paying too close attention during the NFL preseason, but it is a signal that pro football is back, even if most stars hardly play (if at all) and the quality of play on the field isn't always that great. And, considering the games don't actually count for anything, why pay attention?

Read more: NFL preseason 2023 TV schedule: Full list of nationally televised games

Because it's football. Chances are, by stumbling on this page, you have a vested interest in knowing when the 2023 NFL preseason begins.

When does the 2023 NFL preseason begin, how long does it last?

Technically, the current preseason is four weeks long, but it's only three weeks long for 30 teams.

Two teams partake in the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame game, which is played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. This year, the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns will square off in unison for the Hall of Fame's class of 2023 induction.

That game will kick off on Thursday, Aug. 3 at 8 p.m. ET.

For the rest of the league, NFL preseason action will commence with Week 1 of the exhibition phase on Thursday, Aug. 10. Games will be played all weekend from Thursday through Sunday of that week, and the San Francisco 49ers will start their preseason campaign on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, Aug. 13 at 4 p.m. ET

Read more: How many preseason games will the 49ers play in 2023?

Week 2 of the preseason begins on Thursday, Aug. 17, and Week 3 starts on Thursday, Aug. 24.

The final game of the NFL preseason, which concludes Week 3, is on Sunday, Aug. 27 between the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints.

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