NFL, Referees Labor Battle Could Roll Into Regular Season, According To Report

During last year's NFL lockout there was occasionally a media report that would cause a stir, either by saying the lockout was almost over or that things were so bad the lockout would last an entire season. You can say anything when it comes via an anonymous source, you see.

USA Today is jumping into the extreme side of reporting when it comes to the NFL Referees Association against the NFL in their labor dispute. Reporter Jim Corbett writes that the referee lockout is expected to last into the regular season.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations told USA TODAY Sports he expects the labor battle to escalate throughout the summer and that the first couple of weeks of the regular season will be played with "scab" officials. The person requested anonymity because he has not been authorized to speak publicly.

"I will be very surprised if there are not games played with scabs or replacement officials," the person said Tuesday.

It's still very, very early in the process. As we learned with the NFL lockout last year, the 11th hour is all that really matters, and the 11th hour in this particular case may not come until August when the preseason kicks off.

If replacement referees do end up coming to the NFL, it has all the makings of being a disaster.

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