The NFL won’t be adding a booth umpire to officiating crews this year, but there is expected to be a change to the rules governing the role of the existing replay official.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that NFL owners are expected to approve the Competition Committee’s proposal to expand that role when they vote on it next week. That proposal was originally made alongside one from the Ravens to add an eighth official watching the game in the booth without adding to the replay official’s responsibilities, but that has now been withdrawn.
The proposal would allow replay officials to “advise the game officials on specific, objective aspects of a play when clear and obvious video evidence is present and/or to address game administration issues” outside of a replay review situation.
Those issues include, but are not limited to, possession, whether a pass is complete, the location of the ball, and whether a player is down by contact. The replay official would not be allowed to call a penalty or pick up a flag thrown by an on-field official.
Baltimore’s proposal would have gone further, but the league isn’t going to be taking that step in 2021.