July 15 has long been the supposed deadline for a new NFL collective bargaining agreement, with the entire preseason schedule supposedly at risk. But now it looks like the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame Game could get the ax without the rest of the preseason being affected, which would make Deion Sanders' Aug. 6 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction mighty strange indeed.
Prime's induction will already be curious television, as few people are capable of even listing all the teams he played for and the event will involve Sanders in a rare, but hardly unprecedented, humble moment. And Atlanta Falcons fans are hoping his local heritage is given at least as much attention as his Dallas Cowboys career (it won't, unless Sanders himself makes a big deal of it).
But Sanders' induction speech could also be the last moment of pro football before a bizarre autumn begins. Assuming he goes last, of course, though Marshall Faulk could also get the honor. Either way, an event prominently featuring a member of the Falcons Ring of Honor could be an island in a long span without any actual NFL action.