It has been widely assumed and explained and concluded that, during a lockout, the NFL teams won’t be able to use replacement players.
The NFL is not yet ready to concede that point.
During an interview earlier this year, NFL outside labor counsel Bob Batterman opted not to comment on the possible strategy. He didn’t say that it couldn’t happen.
Earlier today, an NFL official indicated that, indeed, a return of the Shane Falcos (and Sean Paytons) of pro football could occur.
Per the NFL official, there is nothing legally preventing the league from using replacement players in a lockout. The official said that a decision has not been made.
In 1987, the league used replacement players during a strike. This time around, it could be a much harder sell to hire replacements after the owners locked the doors.
But, hey, replacement football is still better than no football.