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NFL to use replacement refs for exhibition opener

The SportsXchange

Replacement officials will work Sunday night's Hall of Fame game between the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints, reported Friday.

The NFL and its officials have not made progress in recent contract negotiations. The league locked out members of the NFL Referees Association on June 3 after talks between the union and the NFL broke down.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier in the week that he was comfortable with using replacement officials in preseason games.

The NFL has not announced who the officials will be. ESPN speculated that the league does not want to announce who the officials are in advance because it does not want the media looking into the credentials of the replacement officials.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said it is the league's policy to make the names of the officials available at the game.

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