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2019 Hard Knocks rumor: Detroit Lions assumed to be featured team?

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One report suggest the Lions may be the favorite to be featured on the HBO show.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams-Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions very clearly don’t want any part of HBO’s training camp documentary series “Hard Knocks,” but they may not have a choice. They are one of five teams that cannot decline being featured on the show should they be chosen, and one recent report suggests that the Lions may actually be the team they’re targeting.

NBC Sports Bay Area reporters Matt Maiocco and Scott Bair were at the NFL Combine last week, where rumors were churning, and they dropped this interesting nugget in a piece from Wednesday.

The 49ers and Raiders are eligible to be featured on “Hard Knocks,” the behind-the-scenes training camp series that airs on HBO. Coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have been adamant that they do not want the 49ers to participate. The Raiders are not completely out of the picture, but one source said there’s an assumption the Detroit Lions will be the featured team this summer.

This would come as a pretty big surprise. Considering all the wild drama in places like New York—where the Giants are eligible to be featured—and Oakland—where they just got themselves a one-man show in Antonio Brown—it’s a bit puzzling why the Lions would be the preferred choice.

Back in February, Lions general manager Bob Quinn explained why he didn’t want the team to be featured on the HBO documentary series.

“If we’re playing [the featured team] that year, we DVR that show, we watch that show,” Quinn said. “We might glean a little thing about a personnel matter or a scheme thing. So that’s something that other teams always do. I know we do it. We did it with our previous team. I’ve done it here, so it’s real.”

This is still very much in the rumor stage, so there’s no reason for Quinn to worry quite yet. Last year, NFL Films made their Hard Knocks announcement on May 17, so there’s a good chance we won’t know for sure who the featured team is until after the NFL Draft.