Mike Pereira, the head of NFL officiating, said today that the league needs to act to keep on-field officials safe from injuries suffered in collisions with players.
Showing a kickoff return from Sunday’s game in which Vikings tight end Jeff Dugan ran over back judge Richard Reels, Pereira said on NFL Network’s Total Access that he’s growing increasingly concerned about the safety of the officials.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do but we have to address the issue,” Pereira said. “The fact is they’re getting run over too many times.”
On Sunday ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the league is considering putting helmets on umpires, who line up in the middle of the defense and are the officials who most frequently find themselves getting run over. Pereira said that’s one option, but he’s not sure what measure will be adopted. He just knows he wants the league to take some action to make officials safer on the field.
“Whether it’s helmets, whether it’s shoulder pads, whether it’s moving them to an alternate position to get them out of the way,” Pereira said, “we have to do something.”