'Transition rules' and Rams' early schedule

Our latest reports regarding a potential NFL labor resolution by July 21 suggest the league could still play "almost all" exhibition games.

One exception: The Hall of Fame game featuring the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears.

The Rams and Bears are the only teams scheduled to play more than four exhibition games this season. The extra exhibition game would help on some levels this season. The lockout has prevented teams from holding their usual offseason practices, so the extra game would provide a welcome chance for additional evaluation.

The last 10 teams to play five exhibition games in a season went 2-8 in regular-season openers, including 0-6 over the past three seasons. The Rams haven't played a fifth exhibition game since 2001, when the team opened 6-0 and went 14-2 overall.

The Rams open the 2011 season at home against Philadelphia before facing the New York Giants on "Monday Night Football" in Week 2. Playing an extra exhibition game would have to rank well down the list of the Rams' concerns heading into such a difficult two-week stretch.

The Eagles were 6-2 on the road last season. The Giants were 5-3 at home.