Packers defensive back Charles Woodson says that if the NFL’s lockout of the officials doesn’t end soon, things could get ugly.
Woodson says the replacement officials have struggled during the preseason, and with less than two weeks to get them ready for the regular season, there’s no way they’re going to be up to speed in time.
“They haven’t been very good,” Woodson told USA Today. “That’s the honest opinion. Before preseason started, I think you’re optimistic. But it’s almost like a young guy coming into the NFL. The game goes too fast for them. Now, could they go through a season and get better? Sure. But there’s going to be a lot of bad officiating going on until they catch up to the speed of the game.”
Woodson indicated that a player like himself might actually be able to benefit from the absence of the regular officials, because he could get away with pass interference. But he’d rather not see it come to that.
“There will be some things you normally wouldn’t get away with,” Woodson said. “It’s not that you’d be trying to get away with them, but you will because the official didn’t see it or he didn’t know to make the call. We need the [regular officials] back.”
Despite more and more players like Woodson coming forward to say the NFL needs the regular officials, it’s looking less and less likely that they’ll get the regular officials before the regular season starts.