Rams, Chargers confirmed for 'Hard Knocks'; premiere set for Aug. 11

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the HBO series "Hard Knocks" will forge ahead this summer to produce a five-episode season featuring the Rams and Chargers.

"We are following the advice of medical experts at the league and NFLPA level," said Ken Rodgers, senior coordinating producer of "Hard Knocks," on Thursday. "We as a production are following right along with camp, so if any changes happen in any way, 'Hard Knocks' will adjust."


The process of coronavirus testing is likely to be folded into the show, Rodgers said, as production attempts to chronicle the experience of players and coaches throughout training camp.

Rams coach Sean McVay and Chargers coach Anthony Lynn attended a video conference with reporters Thursday to discuss their teams' upcoming appearances on the series.

When asked about the possibility of the coronavirus testing process being featured on the show, McVay acknowledged the ever-changing situation, guidelines and processes involved with COVID-19 before adding a candid response.

"I mean, is this crazy, Coach Lynn?" McVay said, with a hint of a chuckle. "We're talking about some of this stuff, and we're playing football? I mean, we're going to social distance, but we play football? This is really hard for me to understand all this. I don't want to be -- I don't get it. I really don't."

"Hard Knocks" is scheduled to debut Aug. 11. Veteran players are scheduled to report to training camps on July 28.


The Rams will hold training camp at their practice facility at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. The Chargers' camp will be held at their facility in Costa Mesa.

Rodgers said production would be nimble in its adjustments as it adapts to health and safety protocols in place because of COVID-19.

"It's going to be a different 'Hard Knocks,'" Rodgers said. "I don't know how it's going to be different, but it's going to be different, and we're going to adjust to that. The protocols, whatever they may be, the practice schedules, how the team uses their locker room or their meeting rooms -- everything is going to be different for us, just like it is for them."

This is the first time in the 15 seasons of "Hard Knocks" that two teams will be featured. The decision to follow both teams comes as they prepare to play their first season at the new $5 billion-plus SoFi Stadium.

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