NFL may give replay officials more authority to make calls

Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles
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The NFL is considering a change to its officiating crew, with the replay official getting more authority to make calls.

Currently, the replay official’s job is largely administrative: Replay officials assist the referee in conjunction with the league officiating office when a play is reviewed, but the replay officials don’t make the calls themselves.

But Peter King writes in today’s Football Morning in America that the league owners are set to vote on a proposal that will empower the replay official to make calls. For instance, if the officials on the field rule a pass incomplete but the replay official can see it was clearly complete, the replay official can tell the referee to call it complete, without having to wait for a coach’s challenge and full replay review.

This proposal is not the same as the “sky judge” proposal that has received plenty of attention, as the replay official would not have the same authority to call penalties and make other decisions that the on-field officials have. But it would expand the use of replay while hopefully not increasing the number of time-killing replay reviews.