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NFL will use umpire contingency plan in Week 17

by archysport

The move is another effort by the league to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NFL is preparing a contingency plan for COVID-19 in which it will temporarily promote an official to be a referee in one of Sunday’s games, according to an NFL source.

The move is another effort by the league to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several umpires and other personnel have been sidelined this season by COVID-19 protocols, but the league has been able to cover them with contingency plans. In Week 15, for example, he assigned referee John Hussey to lead two games, one on Thursday night and one on Monday night, to cover referee Clay Martin. In Week 16, referee Adrian Hill worked the Friday and Sunday games after Shawn Smith was pulled from the date.

The NFL has not released the officials’ test results this season, but as has been the case with players and coaches, some have missed games due to close contact with positive cases. Regardless, doubling the umpires in Week 17 would not be possible because all 16 games are scheduled for Sunday.

The league has a total of 17 umpires and teams, one more than it needs to cover a full date. But according to the league source, if multiple umpires are not available, they will take advantage of their training program and elevate another member (a umpire, down, lines, field, winger, or rear) to fill in. low. If that happens on short notice, that team will work the game with six members instead of the usual seven, as happens when a referee is injured during a match.

ESPN NFL Insider’s Adam Schefeter contributed to this report.

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