Side judge Brian Stropolo was supposed to work Sunday's Saints-Panthers game, before the league was made aware through Stropolo's Facebook that he is a Saints fan.
Side judge Brian Stropolo's Facebook page confirms his allegiance to the Saints and he's been replaced by an alternate official who travels with the crew, according to this ESPN report.
ESPN contacted the league Sunday morning so the NFL would be aware of Stropolo's allegiance to the Saints, of which the league was previously unaware.
This would have been an incredible conflict of interest for the league and the contentious situation involving its replacement officials, considering there were several photos of Stropolo in Saints gear on his Facebook page where he lists himself as an NFL side judge.
There were reportedly pictures of Stropolo sporting Saints gear while tailgating at an Aug. 25 preseason game, which he did not work.
Stropolo worked the Week 1 opener between the Cowboys and Giants and posted on Sept. 5: "Thanks to everyone for all the support. The crew did a great job tonight. Next stop September 16th at Carolina vs the Saints."
ESPN cites an unnamed league executive who conceded, at the very least, "an appearance of impropriety" warranted Sunday's action.
Read more on the Saints at Canal Street Chronicles.