Head Coach Dan Campbell speaks to the media on June 1 | Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions might make the NFL playoffs in 2023, but if they do, they won’t do it in the midst of any sort of reality show environment.

Dan Campbell

Coach Dan Campbell via NFL YouTube

At least not according to Coach Dan Campbell and the other voices of the franchise. The team made it clear last week that they won’t be taking part in HBO’s award-winning series, NFL Film’s Hard Knocks. The show chronicles a behind-the-scenes look at an individual team during training camp each year. It typically features a team that is buzzworthy or on the rise, so the Detroit Football Club would seem like a perfect fit.

But the Lions – along with several other NFL teams, have said they prefer not to take part in the program in 2023. And many other organizations have reportedly let the league know privately that it’s not high on their list of priorities for the upcoming year.

So, with training camp getting closer and closer, the question remains… who will be at the head of the class in this year’s school of hard knocks? Who will be the poster boys for the programmer’s popular pigskin program?

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Last year, the announcement of the team was made in March with the aforementioned Lions getting the nod. They turned out to be one of the more entertaining subjects in the show’s run, but they will not be back for an encore performance. Multiple reports are stating that anywhere from 4-7 other squads have made it clear that they would rather do without the distractions, as well.

According to the Detroit News, the NFL has had a tough time finding a team, which is what prompted them to actually asked the Lions to return for 2023.

And while The League can enforce participation, they have laid down some criteria that give organizations an exemption:

  1. They have a first-year head coach in place.
  2. They have a playoff berth in the past two seasons.
  3. They have appeared on “Hard Knocks” in the past 10 years.

Detroit Lions training camp via Detroit Lions YouTube

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That leaves just four teams that the NFL can force to be on “Hard Knocks” this year – The Washington Redskins, New York Jets, Chicago Bears, and New Orleans Saints. 

With the pickup of Aaron Rodgers, NFL fans would probably love to the cameras following around the Broadway ballers and their new QB. However, given Rodgers’ legendary stature, he could likely make the request to Commissioner Roger Goodell personally if he wants to avoid the distraction.

The Saints have a new starting quarterback in David Carr as they look to return to their glory days.

Or, the crew could look to one of Detroit’s longtime rivals. The rise of superstar Justin Fields makes the Bears a natural target. But one thing’s for sure… their TV cameras won’t be aiming at any Lions this year.

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