(AP) The NFL is experimenting with an eighth on-field official at four preseason games.
Called a “deep judge,” the official was part of crews working Saturday’s Tennessee-Carolina and New York Giants-Baltimore games. The official was also used at Friday’s Atlanta-Miami contest and is scheduled for Thursday’s Cincinnati-Indianapolis game.
The official is positioned in the defensive backfield opposite the back judge. His primary responsibility is to watch for eligible receivers, but can also help with watching other parts of the field as assignments have changed since the umpire was moved into the offensive backfield.
The NFL competition committee will evaluate video of the four games before deciding whether to add the official for the 2011 regular season.
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