HBO’s in-season “Hard Knocks” docuseries will feature the Arizona Cardinals in 2022, the NFL announced Monday. The Cardinals are fresh off a playoff appearance, but rancor between the club and quarterback Kyler Murray could highlight the show. What else should viewers be on the lookout for on this year’s version of “Hard Knocks?”
Who is on ‘Hard Knocks’ in 2022?
For the second year in a row, HBO will present the inner workings of an in-season NFL team. Last year, audiences watched as the Indianapolis Colts and Carson Wentz collapsed down the stretch, eventually costing themselves a postseason berth with a Week 18 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
This season, we’ll get to watch the Cardinals as they square off in a tough NFC West. General manager Steve Keim and head coach Kliff Kingsbury have largely retained much of Arizona’s 2021 roster. Will it be enough in games against the Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Chargers?
The preseason iteration of Hard Knocks will highlight the Detroit Lions as they continue their rebuild under second-year head coach Dan Campbell. That version of the show has been around since 2001, with a new team taking the mantle each season. The first Lions episode will debut on Aug. 9.
Arizona Cardinals storylines on ‘Hard Knocks’
By the time the regular season rolls around, any tension between Murray and the Cardinals may have dissipated. But as of now, the star quarterback’s relationship with the club stands out as the key storyline. Both sides have hurled insults at each other throughout the offseason, but a long-term contract extension could help alleviate any pressure. As expected, Murray is not reporting for Arizona’s OTAs.
Murray and Co. will have to get through the first six games of the season without veteran wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who picked up a PED ban. Hopkins isn’t the only pass catcher who will be missing, as the Cardinals lost Christian Kirk in free agency. Trade acquisition Marquise Brown and 2021 second-round pick Rondale Moore will be forced to pick up the slack.
We’ll also get to watch the continued progression of the Cardinals’ defensive unit, which finished sixth in DVOA in 2021. Future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt will attempt to get through a full season for just the third time in the past seven years, while former first-round linebackers Isaiah Simons and Zaven Collins will take on more prominent roles. Can coordinator Vance Joseph — a candidate for the Miami Dolphins’ head coaching job in the most recent cycle — land more interviews following a successful campaign in 2022?