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News

Al Riveron back at work after recovering from covid-19

Al Riveron, senior vice president, in charge of centralized replay on game day, missed Week 1 due to covid-19. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Riveron is back in the Art McNally Game Day Center for today's games. Russell Yurk, vice president of replay, and three assistants were handling replay challenges in Week 1. We are glad that Riveron has recovered from covid-19 and wish him well as he handles replay challenges today.

Regionalized officiating crews for the 2020 season

In an effort to minimize travel, the NFL officiating department has reconstructed the crews for the 2020 season, changing the crew designations originally revealed on Football Zebras in May. The concept of a "crew" this season is not going to align with any other modern-era season. Officials will be driving to most of their assignments when feasible, which means up to 5-hour car rides are the expectation, with a few longer excursions required before air travel is granted. There is no carpooling allowed on these trips. So, crews will be split up from time to time due to some of these proximity

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NFL100: When John McDonough called The Longest Game on Christmas Day

It's always hard for officials to be away from home on a special holiday. So it was for referee John McDonough and his officiating crew, scheduled to work the Christmas Day divisional playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the visiting Miami Dolphins. McDonough, who officiated Super Bowl IV, and was a AFL and NFL referee from 1960 to 1973, lead a veteran crew that included umpire Frank Sinkovitz, head linesman Leo Miles, line judge Bill Swanson, field judge Bob Baur and back judge Adrian Burk.  The NFL had never scheduled a postseason game on Christmas. A few years before the

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Mechanics

No eighth official in 2020

According to a report from John Kryk in The Telegram, the NFL will not add an eighth official for the 2020 season. The proposal is for the eighth official to be the sky judge (the position name bandied about at the moment). The idea is for the sky judge to intervene and correct "egregious" judgement errors or rule misapplications. It is unknown if the sky judge would be an official that retired from the field, someone with officiating experience at the college level, or someone that comes up through the replay official pipeline. But, the NFL won't consider the sky judge position this

Working the official? Putting a bug in their ear? What exactly was Kyle Shanahan doing?

In this week's Inside the NFL on Showtime, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan can be seen and heard doing what's known as "working the official," that is, alerting the official to potential things an opposing team is doing or might do that is a violation of the rules. This can lead many fans and players alike to proclaim that a given official is in the tank for a given team or coach. That is not the case. Before each game at all levels, the officials will meet with the coaches of both teams. The purpose is to: Make sure all players are

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