NFL will use replacement officials for Week 1
The NFL will open the regular season next week with replacement officials and said it was prepared to use them "as much ... as necessary" afterward. Replacements...
NEW YORK — The NFL will open the regular season next week with replacement officials and said it was prepared to use them "as much ... as necessary" afterward.
Replacements will be on the field beginning Wednesday night when the Dallas Cowboys visit the New York Giants in the season opener, league executive Ray Anderson told the 32 teams in a memo. Negotiations are at a standstill between the NFL and the officials' union.
The NFL Referees Association was locked out in early June, and talks on a new collective-bargaining agreement have gone nowhere. Replacements have been used throughout the preseason, with mixed results.
In 2001, the NFL used replacements for the first week of the regular season before a contract was finalized. The speed of the game and the amount of time starters are on the field increase exponentially for real games, making the replacements' task more challenging.
Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, told the clubs in a memo Wednesday that the replacements will work "as much of the regular season as necessary," adding that training with each crew will continue.
The NFL noted it has expanded the use of instant replay as an officiating tool this year to include all scoring plays and turnovers. Officiating supervisors will be on hand to assist the crews on game-administration issues.
Namath criticizes Jets, Tebow, wildcat
Broadway Joe Namath, who has made a regular habit out of expressing his opinions on the current state of the New York Jets' franchise, was at it again today, this time in an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio host Adam Schein.
Namath, the ex-Jets quarterback who led them to their only Super Bowl title, had some strong words for the organization, and to sum it up, he's not a big fan: "I'm concerned with how the Jets are trying to build a team and win a championship," Namath told Schein. "They seem more interested in the headlines."
Namath also said: "Some of the moves they've made have been a bit curious," likely referring to the Jets' acquisition of Tim Tebow, a move he has been highly critical of since the very beginning. In March, Namath told ESPN's Michael Kay, "I do not agree with this situation ... I just think it's a publicity stunt."
Namath also weighed in with his thoughts on the Jets' super-secret wildcat offense and what such a plan says about the team's opinion of its starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez: "The only reason to run the wildcat is if your offense isn't working."
At Giants 6, Patriots 3
Lawrence Tynes kicked a 32-yard field goal with 1:03 to play, and New York defeated New England in the preseason finale for the teams that met in the Super Bowl in early February.
This one was hardly as interesting as the title game, but the Giants once again scored late to win. Adewale Ojomo set up the game-winning score with a sack and forced fumble against Brian Hoyer that Marcus Thomas returned 12 yards to set up Tynes' second field goal of the half.
At Cowboys 30, Dolphins 13
Orie Lemon returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown, No. 3 running back Phillip Tanner had a 1-yard score, and Dallas earned a victory over Miami.
A week before playing in the NFL's kickoff game against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, the Cowboys kept quarterback Tony Romo and most of their front-line starters standing on the sideline.
At Redskins 30, Bucs 3
Billy Cundiff made 3 of 4 field-goal attempts, making him the only first-stringer to do anything noteworthy for Washington against Tampa Bay.
Cundiff, signed Tuesday after the Redskins cut Graham Gano, converted from 39, 27 and 22 yards and sliced one wide right from 46.
• Recently retired running back LaDainian Tomlinson is moving quickly into his second career. NFL Network and SiriusXM Radio announced that the 2006 NFL MVP was joining the outlets as a broadcaster.
• Carolina coach Ron Rivera said he expects five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith (foot) will return to practice Sunday and play in the Sept. 9 opener against the Buccaneers.