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NFL may add 'sky judge' to avoid repeat of blunder


NFL executives are studying the possibility of adding a “sky judge” to help protect officials from botched calls such as the one that denied the New Orleans Saints a berth in last month’s Super Bowl.

Troy Vincent, the NFL executive vice president of football operations, said Friday at the NFL Combine for new talent in Indianapolis that there is a mandate to explore adding an eighth official to every referee crew.

“When we walked out of the room, there wasn’t dissension,” Vincent said. “It was, ‘This may have some merit.’ It had the most interest.”

While final details are being examined by the NFL Competition Committee, the idea proposed by the coaches committee would add an in-stadium official checking video reviews for obvious blunders.

The expanded replay review would hopefully prevent an embarrassing mistake such as the one at the end of the Los Angeles Rams’ NFC Championship Game victory at New Orleans.

Rams defender Nickell Robey-Coleman committed an obvious interference foul upon Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis, but the violation went uncalled.

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