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2011 NFL Preseason Schedule Released, Patriots Open With Jacksonville

The 2011 NFL schedule has been announced! But keep your feelings of relief and excitement in check, because, so far at least, it's just the 2011 preseason schedule.

While the NFL and its players remain locked in a legal battle that is now headed for mediation, the league went ahead and released the slate of preseason games for 2011, set to begin with the Chicago Bears taking on the St. Louis Rams in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game on Sunday, Aug. 7 (NBC, 8 p.m. ET) in Canton, Ohio.

Of course, this still all depends on whether or not the two sides can agree to end the lockout; obviously, if there's no 2011 season, then there's no preseason. Optimistically, the full The New England Patriots preseason schedule is after the jump.

Saturday, Aug. 13, Jacksonville Jaguars

Saturday. Aug. 20, at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Saturday, Aug. 27, at Detroit Lions, 8 p.m. (CBS)

Thursday, Sept. 1, New York Giants