clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dan Campbell is currently a mess in Madden NFL 22

The Lions head coach doesn’t look anything like himself in the game’s early access.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Detroit Lions Training Camp Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The 10 hour preview for Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 22 came out for EA Play console subscribers on Thursday, giving fans a taste of this year’s edition of the only pro football game we have to cut our teeth on. It’s a glorious time, another sign that NFL football looms large yet again on America, but it would seem an accurate depiction of new Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell is not, contrary to the tag line, in the game.

Credit goes to Lions fan and Twitter user @TheRoyalRapt0r, who entered the early access on his XBox Series X, only to find that the Campbell’s likeness was missing. In his stead at the coach’s podium was a generic character model with a black goatee.

(To be perfectly clear, this is not what Dan Campbell looks like in real life.)

The most likely explanation is that this is a placeholder model and will be replaced once his proper model is completed and entered into the release build or a future update. Still, the full game is set to release in just over a week, so his absence in the game might be of some minor concern for Lions fans looking for an accurate depiction of their new head coach to be there at launch.

The other explanation, and follow with me on this one here, is that the Lions are once again being disrespected by the national “lamestream” NFL media cabal and the developers at EA, who refuse to put in a muscle stud mensch and repeatedly shafts Detroit players on their stats. Only when this conspiracy is brought to light and stopped by the real fans will Detroit rise up and win like eight Super Bowls in a row #OnePride.

Here’s another view of “Dan Campbell” on the sidelines during a game, again from @TheRoyalRapt0r.

“Dan Campbell” on the sidelines in EA’s Madden NFL 22 early access @TheRoyalRapt0r

Campbell’s name appears in Madden 22, so the situation is probably not similar at all to Bill Belichick’s absence from the same game—again, lending credence to the notion that this is currently just a placeholder in early access pending a full face model is put in the full version.

Campbell isn’t the only NFL coach without his likeness in the game. Here’s what newly-minted Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer currently looks like in the game.

A placeholder for Jaguar’s head coach Urban Meyer on the sidelines in EA’s Madden NFL 22 @TheRoyalRapt0r

Madden 22 releases in full on August 20.

UPDATE (8/12/21): It would appear that yes, it is indeed a placeholder and not a massive sports media conspiracy. The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed scanning in many of the new coaches, according to one employee at Electronic Arts, the game’s developer:

Pride of Detroit Direct

Sign up now for a 7-day free trial of Pride of Detroit Direct, with exclusive updates from Jeremy Reisman on the ground at Allen Park, instant reactions after each game, and in-depth Lions analysis from film expert Jon Ledyard.