Following the opting out of five on-field NFL officials due to covid-19-related concerns, a second wave of officiating hires took place, adding 5 new officials to the league’s roster.
Two replay officials are also sidelining themselves as well, and the league will tap its current staff of replay assistants to fill those vacancies.
As has been the case since the 2014 season, all new hires for field positions come out of the Officiating Development Program, a pool of about 50 officials who shadowed NFL officiating crews in training camps and preseason. The program obviously was on hold this year, although development officials are still involved in remote activities.
The newly hired officials are listed below, with their most recent ODP position and uniform number (if worked a preseason game), their college conference, and the number of years in the ODP program (which also includes years assigned to college exhibition games, such as the Senior Bowl, that the NFL selects the officiating crews for scouting purposes).
|ODP Yrs||College conference|
|LJ||141||Tom Eaton||3||SEC||NFL preseason 2017, 2019, AAF, XFL|
|LJ||148||Daniel Gallagher||1||Big Ten||NFL preseason 2019|
|SJ||152||Anthony Flemming||3||Big 12||National Championship Game 2017, NFL preseason 2019, AAF, XFL|
|BJ||139||Grantis Bell||3||SEC||Orange Bowl 2016, Cotton Bowl 2017, NFL preseason 2018, AAF, XFL|
|BJ||Dominique Pender||1||Big Ten||Big Ten Championship 2019|
It is not clear if these are single-year or permanent hires by the league. Seeing as there are only 5 new officials, this staff increase can easily be offset by the officials who retire in spring 2021 and by increasing the number of swing officials.