But Dolphins tight end Hunter Goodwin, the team's NFL Players Association representative, said he has been approached by teammates concerned about "safety, as well as the integrity of the game" if replacement officials were used."It's going to be a tough call to throw a college guy out there into an NFL situation with a fast-paced game, as well as some of the rules being different," Goodwin said. "The hashes are different. There are a lot of different nuances to the game."
The NFL Players Association is concerned about the NFL's decision to lock out professional referees and recruit scabs to serve as referees in NFL games for the 2012 season.
In 2011, the NFL tasked officials with increased responsibilities in protecting player health and safety, and its search for scabs undermines that important function.
Professional athletes require professional referees, and we believe in the NFL Referees Association's trained first responders. The NFLPA will continue to monitor the league's actions in this situation.
The NFLRA isn't happy either. It claims the NFL walked out on the negotiating sessions (while the NFL says it didn't). If that all sounds familiar, it should. It's a similar process that we saw unfold last summer with the NFL and NFLPA going through the lockout.
It will be extremely difficult for the NFL to convince not only the players but the fans as well that the use of replacement referees wouldn't be a mound of problems. Because there's seemingly no way to make sense of the use of replacement referees, I continue to believe that it won't get to that point and the NFL and NFLRA will come to an agreement sometime before the preseason begins.