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NFL experimenting with deep judge in preseason games; future use uncertain
NEW YORK (AP) ' The NFL is experimenting with an eighth on-field official during a dozen preseason games.
A deep judge, stationed in the middle of the field behind the secondary, also was used in eight exhibition games in 2010. There is no timetable for making the position a permanent part of officiating crews.
Pro football has not added an on-field official since 1978, when the NFL was a run-oriented league. Now it has more passing plays than runs, and there is some thought another official would enhance a crew's ability to call games.
There are currently seven officials on the field and two handling replay in each crew. An additional official would need to be approved by ownership.