After being a hit on the show last year, HBO apparently wanted the Detroit Lions for 'Hard Knocks' again this year.
The Detroit Lions were among the teams the NFL could force to be on "Hard Knocks" last year, based on not meeting the criteria to be exempt, but apparently they reached out to effectively volunteer. They were a clear hit, with personalities from the coaching staff on down to introduce what was seen as a rising team to the national audience.
There apparently has been a bit of an issue finding a team for "Hard Knocks" this year. The New York Jets would be an easy and obvious one, with Aaron Rodgers' arrival, but that has not yet come to fruition. It's safe to say the broad sentiment among teams who could be forced to do it is against the idea of being on the show.
Teams with a first-year head coach, a playoff appearance within the last two seasons or an appearance on "Hard Knocks" within the last 10 years are exempt from having to be on the show. That leaves four teams who meet all three requirements (no first-year coach, no playoff appearances in the last two seasons and no show appearances in the last 10 years) could be forced to do it this year--the Jets, the Chicago Bears, the Washington Commanders and the New Orleans Saints.
The Lions were announced for the show in March of 2022, so an announcement of the team for this year is overdue.
A team being on "Hard Knocks" two years in a row would be unprecedented. But HBO apparently asked about it.
HBO wanted to have the Detroit Lions for 'Hard Knocks' again this year
According to John Niyo of The Detroit News (subscription required), HBO wanted the Lions for "Hard Knocks" again this year.
"HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ actually inquired about filming a sequel, by the way,” Niyo wrote this week.
The Lions reaped benefits from being on "Hard Knocks" last year. But that's in the past, and heading into a season with high expectations it appears they said "thanks, but no thanks" to a sequel this year.