Five weeks. The NFL has plans in place to use replacement referees through Week 5 of the 2012 season, according to a report from the Associated Press.
That report follows an earlier one from the NFL Network revealing that the league has the replacement crews scheduled for the first three weeks of the season. Steve Wyche of the NFL Network said that the plans through Week 5 are "tentative."
Reports about the league's scheduling plans for replacement referees outnumber any reports of negotiations between the league and its regular officials represented by the NFL Referees Association, who have been locked out by the league since June.
The two sides last talked in early September, prior to the start of the regular season. Expanding plans to use replacements through Week 5 would not seem to bode well for progress between the league and its usual officials.
Talks over a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and referees stalled over disagreements on salaries, benefits and accountability measures for working officials.