The Detroit Lions are well in line to play an international game next season, and a recent report points to the team knowing the opponent and the location.
The Detroit Lions were scheduled to play an international game in 2020, but the global pandemic squashed that. So they haven’t played an international game since the 2015 season, against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The NFL’s expansion of their overseas schedule, and the related new rule, guarantees each team will play an international game every eight years. It of course happens to be eight years since the Lions played an international game, so if they don’t have one scheduled for the 2023 season it’d be an upset.
One of the five teams slated to host an international game next season, all AFC squads since that conference as the ninth home game in the 17-game schedule, is on the Lions’ schedule. So they will be the opponent if the Lions play a game overseas, and recent news seems to all but confirm it.
Detroit Lions official believes international game location and opponent virtually set
According to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe over the weekend, a Lions official believes the team will play the Chiefs in Germany next season.
"The Lions believe they will play the Chiefs in Germany in 2023, per one team official"
The Lions, and thus the official Volin talked to, have presumably gotten some early indication from the league office about the 2023 schedule. The teams who haven’t already been announced as the home teams, but are options to go overseas have surely be informed of the possibility in a big picture sense. If not practically told outright they will be traveling overseas for a game next season.
The Lions became on of the best stories in the league down the stetch this past season. Now, assuming this report comes to fruition, they’ll be going overseas to try to capture the attention of the international NFL audience.