It seems as though the NFL’s officiating problems are only growing worse, and the New England Patriots might end up getting the short end of the stick because of them.
The league reportedly removed Pete Morelli’s crew from Week 13’s “Sunday Night Football” matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers after mistakes they made in last Sunday’s Arizona Cardinals-San Francisco 49ers game, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported Monday. And ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said the crew was reassigned to the Patriots’ game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
It’s interesting if the NFL really did move the crew to the Patriots’ game, considering there was some controversy over nit-picky calls in last Sunday night’s game against the Denver Broncos. And regardless of the team, by moving an officiating crew off prime time and into an afternoon slot, the NFL is suggesting some games are more important than others and simply is making sure mistakes aren’t broadcast nationally.
The NFL didn’t have much to offer in a statement to CBS Sports, either.
“With the exception of the referee, officiating crews are not announced publicly in advance of game day,” the league said. “Schedules change throughout the season for a variety of reasons, and we do not comment on why officials are assigned to specific games.”
The NFL has doled out some punishments to officials this year, suspending side judge Pat Vernatchi for a clock mistake in the Steelers’ Week 5 game against the San Diego Chargers and reassigning back judge Greg Wilson from prime time after missing an illegal bat in the Seattle Seahawks’ Week 4 game against the Detroit Lions.
Thumbnail photo via Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via NFL referee Pete Morelli looks on prior to the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Kansas City Chiefs in a preseason NFL football game at University of Phoenix Stadium.