Despite the constant criticism coming from all corners, NFL league executives expect to begin the 2012 regular season with replacement officials still in place, as Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter of ESPN report. The NFL and the NFL Referees Association aren't making progress on a new deal as the two sides continue to discuss a variety of issues.
During the first week of the preseason, fans saw that the replacement referees are still a work in progress, as numerous officials made mistakes during the first series of games. The league has continued to make assignments for future games with the replacement officials, though, an indication that it anticipates the referee lockout to last into the regular season.
The NFL has pushed for a variety of concessions from referees this summer, including an increase in the number of full-time referees and an increase in the overall pool of possible referees to select from for game assignments, but the referees have refused to budge on the demands thus far.
For more on the NFL and referees lockout, check out this StoryStream.