The wait for the NFL schedule to be released will end Tuesday.
A Bears spokesman said the league will use its television station as a platform to release the schedule at 1 p.m. The Bears know they open the season Sept. 7 against the Indianapolis Colts in the first regular-season game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
This is about two weeks later than the schedule has been released in recent years. There was some talk at the owners meetings that the league wanted to ensure it had divisional games near the end of the schedule in an effort to eliminate as many inconsequential Week 16 and 17 matchups as possible. The delay could have involved tweaking the late-season lineup of games.
The Bears have a history of playing NFC North foes to close out the slate. They had two divisional meetings in the final three weeks last season—at Minnesota in Week 15 and home vs. Green Bay in Week 16. They closed 2006 with games against Detroit and Green Bay and finished 2005 playing Minnesota and Green Bay. In 2004, the Bears finished with Detroit and Green Bay. The last time the Bears did not have a divisional game in the final three weeks was 2002. They played their final NFC North game in Week 13 that year.