Last week, the NFL put the officials working the Bengals-Steelers game on notice of potential issues, based on the history between the two teams. This week, the NFL has placed the officials working the Washington-Giants game on notice of potential issues, based on the history between two of the players: cornerback Josh Norman and receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
“Before every game, our crew gets a scouting report, and that includes video clips, different things they can expect from the two teams — formations, tendencies,” NFL senior V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino said on NFL Network. “And any time there’s a history between the two teams, players, that’s part of that report. Typically, divisional matchups, rivalry games, we want to make sure we maintain control. And when there’s a history between two players, obviously we can’t ignore that. And the crew will be aware of it. And just like any other game, we want to take that first opportunity to set the tone and be a presence early. Let the emotion die down, so we can just get down to playing football.”
There’s definitely a history between Norman and Beckham, dating back to last December. And it’s definitely a standard operating procedure for the NFL to make officials aware of potential problems between teams and players.
So, basically, it would be news if the NFL didn’t put the officials on notice regarding possible tension between Norman and Beckham or the Bengals and Steelers.