The NFL is set to continue with replacement officials for as long as it takes, said league executive vice president of operations Ray Anderson on Wednesday via NFL.com.
The league and its officials remain deadlocked with the league locking the regular officials out from their jobs and using crews of replacement refs, who have had their share of struggles in the preseason.
"We are committing to the replacement officials for as long as we need them to perform their services," Anderson said. "It's a week-by-week basis, but they are prepared to go the distance if required."
Anderson went to say on “NFL Total Access” that once an agreement is reached with the regular referees, the crews would need about a week to 10 days to get prepared to call games again.
With the NFL set to use replacement officials for week one of the regular season, the NFL Referees Association had a statement of its own issued on Wednesday.
“We are not surprised based on Ray Anderson’s statements yesterday that the NFL was not going to reach out to us. However, this is consistent with the NFL’s negotiating strategy which has been “take it or leave it” and lock them out. It now appears the NFL is willing to forego any attempt to reach a deal in the last seven (7) days before opening night.
“It is unfortunate because the Referees want to get back on the field. Our members have been engaged in extensive preparations and are ready to go.
“If the NFL is serious about negotiating, we are ready, but we can’t negotiate with ourselves.”
The regular season begins Wednesday Sept. 5 with the Super Bowl champion New York Giants facing the Dallas Cowboys.
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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com