The Saints and Cardinals will play the first preseason game of the 2012 season on Sunday, an event that should draw more attention to the current standoff between the league and officials.
The league hasn’t confirmed officiating assignments for the Hall of Fame Game, but the lockout remains in effect and a league source tells PFT that there’s been no real progress in talks between the two sides. NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith wouldn’t say what, if any, action players would take if the league puts replacement officials on the field for games but no one has been shy about expressing concern about the integrity and safety of the games if replacements are used.
Former NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira is one of those who has raised those concerns. Mike Florio will speak to Pereira at 10:35 a.m. ET on the Dan Patrick Show, a conversation that will have a heavy focus on the current impasse.
It’s an issue that has been in the background with all of the attention given to the start of training camps, but Sunday’s game will bring it to the forefront because it will be impossible not to think about the consequences of low-level officials working during NFL games.