Hello, Caleb Williams: NFL Network's live preseason schedule includes 3 Bears games

When six quarterbacks were selected with the first 12 picks of the NFL Draft, it made the league's decisions on preseason programming pretty easy.

The NFL Network announced its 21 preseason games that will be televised live this August, and it's heavy on rookie quarterbacks. In particular, the league is obviously excited to promote Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Caleb Williams, the No. 1 overall pick of the draft.

Among the 21 games to be shown on NFL Network, three Bears preseason games will be broadcast nationally. The league likes its star quarterbacks, and it's hoping this rookie class adds to the depth at the position around the league.

We'll get our first look in the preseason.

Here is the NFL Network's schedule for live televised games this preseason (all times Eastern):

Week 1

Thursday August 8: Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots (7 p.m.)

Friday, Aug. 9: Houston Texans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (7 p.m.)

Saturday Aug. 10: Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills (1 p.m.), Las Vegas Raiders vs. Minnesota Vikings (4 p.m.), Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (7 p.m.)

Sunday Aug. 11: Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts (1 p.m.), Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams (4:30 p.m.)

Week 2

Thursday Aug. 15: Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots (7 p.m.)

Saturday, Aug. 17: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Chicago Bears (1 p.m.), Detroit Lions vs. Kansas City Chiefs (4 p.m.), Buffalo Bills vs Pittsburgh Steelers (7 p.m.), Dallas Cowboys vs. Las Vegas Raiders (10 p.m.)

Sunday Aug. 18: Green Bay Packers vs. Denver Broncos (8 p.m.)

Week 3

Thursday Aug. 22: Chicago Bears vs. Kansas City Chiefs (8:15 p.m.)

Friday Aug. 23: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Atlanta Falcons (7 p.m.), San Francisco 49ers vs. Las Vegas Raiders (10 p.m.)

Saturday Aug. 24: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Detroit Lions (1 p.m.), Los Angeles Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys (4 p.m.), New York Giants vs. New York Jets (7:30 p.m.), Cleveland Browns vs. Seattle Seahawks (10 p.m.)

Sunday Aug. 25: Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints (2 p.m.)

That's three games for Williams, two games for the New England Patriots and No. 3 overall pick Drake Maye, one game for the Atlanta Falcons and No. 8 overall pick Michael Penix Jr., one game for the Minnesota Vikings and No. 10 overall pick J.J. McCarthy, and two games for the Denver Broncos and No. 12 overall pick Bo Nix.

Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Caleb Williams' first preseason will be featured prominently on NFL Network. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Caleb Williams' first preseason will be featured prominently on NFL Network. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

There are no Washington Commanders games scheduled for NFL Network, but No. 2 overall pick Jayden Daniels and his team will be featured on NBC in a game against Maye and the Patriots on Aug. 25.

There's no guarantee the rookie quarterbacks will play in those games because some coaches don't like exposing any of their key players to injury in the preseason, but the NFL is hopeful based on its scheduling decisions.

The Bears have four preseason games because they will be in the Hall of Fame Game as well, though starters very rarely play in that game. Still, if Williams does play, ESPN and ABC will be televising it.

That means anyone with NFL Network and ESPN is guaranteed to see all of Williams' preseason snaps. Williams is an exciting prospect, a Heisman Trophy winner from USC who is expected to be the Bears' answer to their long-running quarterback problem. It's an exciting time for the Bears and the NFL as a whole, with a well-known quarterback stepping into a historic franchise.

The preseason has become mostly a fruitless exercise, with many teams not using starters and others praying to get through the three games healthy. But it's still an important time for rookie quarterbacks getting their feet wet in the NFL and sometimes trying to convince their teams they should start in Week 1. If you like preseason football and have NFL Network, you won't lack for exposure to the new crop of rookie quarterbacks.