If you’re an avid NFL fan, this behind-the-scenes HBO Sports series was made for you. Watch live episodes of “Hard Knocks” Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. ET on HBO or HBO Max. You can also stream the series when you rent or purchase it on Amazon Prime Video

Before seeing “Hard Knocks,” here are some sneak peeks about the show to help get your feet wet. 

About “Hard Knocks”

“Hard Knocks” is a sports documentary series produced by NFL films in partnership with HBO Sports. The show takes lovers of the National Football League (NFL) behind the scenes, giving them unfiltered access into the pre-season training camps of selected NFL teams. Each season features a different team. The show focuses on coaches, staff, and professional and upcoming players as they battle for positions such as wide receivers, tight ends, running backs, cornerbacks, and linebackers.

The first episode of the TV series aired in 2001 with the spotlight on the Baltimore Ravens. Since then, there have been 16 other editions of the show, featuring teams like the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, The Dallas Cowboys, and a host of other top NFL teams.

The NFL franchise is reportedly the most acclaimed serial sports series on television, and the facts are there to back it up: The show has won upwards of 15 Sports Emmy® Awards. The franchise also has a podcast hosted by Fox Sports reporter and NFL Network analyst Peter Schrager.

Who Will Be On “Hard Knocks” in 2022?

While you’re waiting for the premiere of “Hard Knocks: Detroit Lions” which premieres on August 9, 2022, “Hard Knocks: The Dallas Cowboys” and “Hard Knocks in Season: The Indianapolis Colts” are still hot and trending. 

“Hard Knocks: The Dallas Cowboys” premiered on August 10, 2021, and aired for five episodes. Similarly, “Hard Knocks in Season: The Indianapolis Colts,” which is the first in-season edition of the documentary series, premiered on November 7, 2021, and it aired for nine episodes. 

All episodes of both seasons can be streamed on HBO Max.

When Does “Hard Knocks: Detroit Lions” Premiere?

At the beginning of the year, one of three teams — Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, and New York Jets — were speculated to be the likely candidate to feature on “Hard Knocks” in 2022, but it turned out to be the Lions. 

NFL Films and HBO made the announcement in March 2022 during the league owners’ annual meeting. 

This is the Lions’ first appearance on the show. As expected, fans of the show are looking forward to this one with excitement. Coach Dan Campbell who is on his second season with the Detroit Lions will be one of the major highlights of the series. He is popular for his unique expressions and colorful news conferences. 

Perhaps, another figure to look out for is the Lions’ quarterback, Jared Goff. Jared already has some experience with HBO under his belt having featured on “Hard Knocks” in 2016 and 2020 while he was with Los Angeles Rams.

“Hard Knocks: Training Camp With The Detroit Lions” premieres on August 9, 2022, at 10 p.m. ET on HBO and will run for five episodes. American actor and director Liev Schreiber will be the narrator for the 16th time.

All Previous NFL Teams Featured on “Hard Knocks”

Since the first season of the show aired in 2001, 14 teams have featured on “Hard Knocks” altogether, across 17 seasons. 

Here’s a quick highlight of all the past seasons and the teams featured in them.

  • Season 1, Baltimore Ravens: The hit documentary series launched in 2001 with the Baltimore Ravens. The show premiered on August 1, 2001, and aired six episodes.
  • Season 2, Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys made their first appearance on the show in 2002. The show premiered on May 31, 2002, and aired for six episodes also.
  • Season 3, Kansas City Chiefs: After the second season, “Hard Knocks” went on a four-year hiatus between 2002 to 2006. The show finally returned in 2007 with a third season featuring Kansas City Chiefs. The show made its debut on August 8, 2007, and from season three, “Hard Knocks” began to air just five episodes.
  • Season 4, Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys returned in 2008 for a second appearance on the show. The show premiered on August 6, 2008. 
  • Season 5,  Cincinnati Bengals: The 2009 edition of the show premiered on August 12, 2009. This time around, the spotlight was on the Cincinnati Bengals. 
  • Season 6,  New York Jets: Coming off in fine form in the AFC championship and divisional playoffs in 2010, it was the Jets’ turn for the “Hard Knocks.” The show premiered on August 11, 2010. 
  • Season 7,  Miami Dolphins: With no team willing to participate in the show in 2011, “Hard Knocks” went on a season-long break. The show returned in 2012 with the Miami Dolphins. The show made its debut on August 7, 2012.
  • Season 8, Cincinnati Bengals: The Cincinnati Bengals made a second appearance on “Hard Knocks” — something that has only been done by the Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, and the Dallas Cowboys. The first episode premiered on August 6, 2013.
  • Season 9,  Atlanta Falcons: Season nine had the spotlight on head coach Mike Smith and the Falcons. The season premiered on August 5, 2014.
  • Season 10,  Houston Texans: The 10th edition of “Hard Knocks” was focused on the Texans. The first episode aired on August 11, 2015.
  • Season 11, Los Angeles Rams: The Rams made the NFL selection for “Hard Knocks” season 11. The show premiered on August 9, 2016. 
  • Season 12, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Season 12 told the story of the Bucs. The season premiered on August 8, 2017.
  • Season 13, Cleveland Browns: Season 13 chronicled the Cleveland Browns, and the widely acclaimed series earned NFL and HBO two Sports Emmys for production excellence. The first episode aired on August 7, 2018.
  • Season 14, Oakland Raiders: The Oakland Raiders stole the show in 2019 in their final year in the Bay area. The team has since moved its training camp to Las Vegas. The show premiered on August 6, 2019.
  • Season 15, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers: In a new programming move, the 15th edition of the docuseries spotlighted two teams — The Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers. The show premiered on August 11, 2021, and characteristically aired for five episodes.
  • Season 16, Dallas Cowboys: In 2021, the Cowboys made their third appearance on the show — the most by any team. The show made its debut on August 10, 2021, while the finale aired on September 7, 2021, two days before Dallas Cowboys lined up against the Buccaneers — the defending Super Bowl champions.
  • Season 17, Indianapolis Colts: We had been so used to watching “Hard Knocks” whenever the NFL training camp opens and teams arrive for pre-season training. However, in 2021 the producers of the show introduced a new playbook — an in-season edition. The show premiered on November 17, 2021, featuring the Indianapolis Colts, and aired nine episodes.

Hopefully, we’ll see teams like the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, and Buffalo Bills get featured on “Hard Knocks” someday. In the meantime, the next stop is Allen Park, Michigan  — the training ground of the Detroit Lions. 

How to Watch “Hard Knocks” on HBO Max

To catch all the interesting episodes of “Hard Knocks” on HBO Max you need to be an existing HBO subscriber. If you’re not, maybe it’s time to sign up. Visit hbomax.com and select one of their two subscription options starting at $9.99/month.

Once you’re signed up, you get access to watch “Hard Knocks” as well as your other favorite movies and shows at no extra cost.

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Heather Reinblatt

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV