They will have one more week to realize that defensive backs cannot wrap their arms around would-be receivers, but the replacement officials who have plagued the NFL preseason to date will be on the field when the regular season kicks off on September 5.
Per league executive Ray Anderson, via the Associated Press, negotiations remain at a standstill between the NFL and the officials’ union. The replacements, alas, will be on the field beginning next Wednesday night when the Cowboys visit the Giants to open the season.
The NFL Referees Association was locked out in early June and, unlike the player-owner impasse of a year ago, talks on a new collective bargaining agreement went nowhere. Replacements have been used throughout the preseason, with results being far from favorable.
In 2001, the NFL used replacements for the first week of the regular season before a contract was finalized.
[Related: Weeden sitting is the safe play, I guess]