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NFL approves preseason trial of expanded replay official role

Mike Florio and Chris Simms look at the current status of the NFL's "sky judge" proposal, which is still on the table and may be used in the preseason.

The NFL didn’t move forward with votes to add a new booth official to crews for the 2020 season, but they will experiment with a tweaked role for existing replay officials in the preseason.

League owners approved a preseason trial for the proposal made by the Competition Committee to allow for more communication between replay officials and the crew on the field. That’s more limited in scope than the proposals that would have added a “Sky Judge” to the officiating crews with the power to make calls from the booth based on video.

Under the revised proposal, officials on the field can speak with the booth during crew conferences or until there are 25 seconds left on the play clock. The replay official will not be able to stop the game and will have access to the broadcast feed when consulting with on-field officials.

The proposal left the door open for the league to adopt aspects of the test for the regular season as well.