NFL makes an important call about refs

NFL makes an important call about refs

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL will open the regular season next week with replacement officials and said it was prepared to use them "as much ... as necessary" afterward.Replacements will be on the field beginning Wednesday night when the Dallas Cowboys visit the New York Giants in the season opener, league executive Ray Anderson told the 32 teams in a memo. Negotiations are at a standstill between the NFL and the officials' union.The NFL Referees Association was locked out in early June and talks on a new collective bargaining agreement have gone nowhere. Replacements have been used throughout the preseason, with mixed results.In 2001, the NFL used replacements for the first week of the regular season before a contract was finalized. The speed of the game and the amount of time starters are on the field increase exponentially for real games, making the replacements' task more challenging.Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, told the clubs in a memo Wednesday that the replacements will work "as much of the regular season as necessary," adding that training with each crew will continue.The NFL noted it has expanded the use of instant replay as an officiating tool this year to include all scoring plays and turnovers. Officiating supervisors will be on hand to assist the crews on game administration issues."We are not surprised, based on Ray Anderson's statements ... that the NFL was not going to reach out to us," NFLRA spokesman Michael Arnold said. "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 days before opening night."The NFL Players Association, which went through a 4 - month lockout last year before settling on a new contract, expressed disappointment about the decision to use replacements.Colts safety Antoine Bethea said there is a feeling of solidarity with the officials."They've got to do what they've got to do, and we were in a similar situation a little while ago," Bethea said. "So you can't fault those guys for doing what they have to do."Anderson said the sides remain considerably apart on economic issues, including salary and retirement benefits. He also told the teams there is a substantial difference on operational issues."One of our key goals in this negotiation is to enhance our ability to recruit, train, and replace officials who are not performing adequately," Anderson said. "We believe that officials should be evaluated and performance issues addressed in the same way as players, coaches, club management and league staff. We have proposed several steps to accomplish this, including having a number of full-time officials and expanding the overall number of officials."Giants receiver Victor Cruz said the players have other things as their prime concern as the season approaches."You can't worry about that. You have to go out there and worry about what we do as individuals and players. Take care of our own deal," Cruz said Wednesday might after New York's 6-3 victory over New England. "They've gotten better as the games went on, but we just have to make sure we're doing the right things out there on the field and not give them much to throw flags on."The NFL is offering to add three full officiating crews, increasing the total number of officials to 140. The NFLRA insists the compensation being offered with such an increase would reduce the officials' pay.The league is proposing having seven officials -- one per position of referee, umpire, line judge, side judge, back judge, field judge, head linesman -- who would train, scout, handle communications, safety issues and rules interpretations year-round. Now, all NFL game officials are part-time employees, with outside jobs ranging from lawyers to teachers to business owners.In response, the NFLRA has said it is not opposed to full-time officials "if they are fairly compensated."The union also disputes the value of the league's current salary offer, which it says would not be the 5 percent to 11 percent increase the NFL claims.And the union questions the league's adherence to player safety initiatives by using replacement officials, none of whom has recently worked Division I college games. Many of the officials who were replacements in 2001 came from the Division I level."The league has placed a lot of emphasis on player health and safety in the last few years and we do feel we are an integral part of that," Arnold said. "We think it is unfortunate and we really don't understand why the league is willing to risk playing safety and the integrity of the game by utilizing amateur officials."Anderson told the teams that the replacements have "undergone extensive training and evaluation, and have shown steady improvement during the preseason."Arnold disagreed."The referees want to get back on the field," Arnold said. "Our members have been engaged in extensive preparations and are ready to go."Giants coach Tom Coughlin said the coaches and players have no control over the situation."For me to say there is or isn't concern, you do the very best you can with them," Coughlin said Wednesday night. "You just hope these officials know the rules and can keep the game under control and keep order. Hopefully they'll be able to do that."

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Ravens announce inactives for Week 7 vs. Jets: Flacco in, Stanley, Suggs out

Ravens announce inactives for Week 7 vs. Jets: Flacco in, Stanley, Suggs out

EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J.  – Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (right shoulder) was active as expected Sunday, as was cornerback Jimmy Smith, who cleared concussion protocol.

However, seven key Ravens were inactive against the Jets – left tackle Ronnie Stanley, wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., right guard Marshal Yanda, cornerback Shareece Wright, and linebackers Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, and C. J. Mosley.

Some key points to follow in light of these injuries, as the Ravens (3-3) hoped to snap a three-game losing streak:


— It remained to be seen if Flacco would be 100 percent. He was later than normal coming out for pre-game warmups, perhaps getting treatment

—Without Suggs and Dumervil, the Ravens would face a challenge trying to generate a pass rush against Jets quarterback Geno Smith. Young pass rushers like Za’Darius Smith and Matt Judon will be counted on to step up.

—  Pass protection for Flacco could be an issue, with Stanley and Yanda both sidelined. It was surprise that Stanley was inactive, after practicing all week. Perhaps Stanley suffered a setback with the foot injury that had already kept him out the previous three weeks.

Here are the inactive players for the New York Jets.

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Ravens vs. Jets Live Updates: Week 7 scores, stats, highlights and analysis

Ravens vs. Jets Live Updates: Week 7 scores, stats, highlights and analysis

The Ravens have lost three straight games since starting 3-0, but a face a woeful Jets team that looks to quarterback Geno Smith for a spark. 

The Week 7 Ravens vs. Jets kicks off at MetLife Stadium at 1:00 p.m. on CBS. Be sure to watch Ravens Kickoff at Noon on CSN+.

CSN Mid-Atlantic will provide live updates of the Week 7 game between the Ravens and Jets.

You can find all the stats, scores, highlights, and analysis in the game thread below. Also, be sure to leave a comment in the section below the post.

Week 7 Ravens vs. Jets Live Updates:


1:38 p.m. - Jets continue to drive. Geno Smith is 2-of-6 for 19 yards. Not flashy, but he's not making mistakes thus far. 

1:28 p.m. - Ravens get the ball after a Jets punt, and Joe Flacco finds Mike Wallace on a 57-yard bomb. The Ravens have opened up the pass attack in recent weeks. They are looking to hit the big shot (Or get a PI call). It's working early against the Jets. 

1:25 p.m. - Jets center Nick Mangold is down on the field. Hard to tell what the injury was. Mangold now off the field after some help from team staff. That is a huge loss foran already banged up Jets offense. 

1:15 p.m. - RAVENS TOUCHDOWN! The Jets punter Lachlan Edwards botches the snap, and the Ravens defense pounces on the ball, picking it up in the end zone. Reserve WR Chis Moore is there for the TD. Good guys lead 7-0. 

1:12 p.m. - Terrance West is up on the sidelines, working on the ankle. He could return next series. But still, something to monitor. West has rushed for 295 yards and three touchdowns over the past three games. 

1:10 p.m. - Terrance West is getting taped up on the sidelines. This is something to keep an eye on. 

1:07 p.m. - Ravens open with a run, then a short pass for first down> Flacco then looks deep, but over throws his target. Ravens go back to the ground, and Kenneth Dixon can't pick up any yardage. Ravens pass on third-and-10, and it falls incomplete. Ravens will punt. The Ravens called a timeout before the punt. That's weird. 

1:01 p.m. - The Jets win the toss and defer. The Ravens will get the ball to start. Look for a heavy dose of the run game today, what with Joe Flacco nursing a sore shoulder and Terrance West playing strong in the last two games. 


12:45 p.m. - Speaking of Geno Smith: Do you need some last-minute daily fantasy help? Our fantasy expert ben Standig has you covered, and although the Jets aren't great, Geno Smith might be worth a value-play. Seriously. 

12:25 p.m. - Oh that's right. Marshal Yanda is out too. Joe Flacco is going to need to protect that shoulder of his.

12:20 p.m. - Joe Flacco is looking healthy during warmups. 

12:10 p.m. - The Jets turn to Geno Smith at the quarterback for Week 7. Ryan Fitzpatrick struggled in the first six games, throwing a NFL-high 11 interceptions, which is three more than the second-most (8). The Ravens defense has not been an issue in the first six games. Despite not having Terrell Suggs on Sunday, the Ravens should be able to feast on Smith and the Jets' offense.

11:55 a.m. - The Ravens list of inactive players for Week 7 is in. Joe Flacco is starting, which is good news. The bad news? Ronnie Stanley and Terrell Suggs aren't in uniform. 

11:45 a.m. - Welcome to CSN Mid-Atlantic's game thread for the Week 7 game between the Ravens and Jets. You can follow me on Twitter, @TroyMachir. Be sure to follow our CSN Ravens Insiders Clifton Brown and Bo Smolka, who are providing live analysis of the Week 7 title.  You can also follow our CSN Ravens account for all the latest Ravens videos, news and articles.