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#pounditSaturday, May 8, 2021

Major change coming to NFL replay system in 2021?

Roger Goodell

The NFL is always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of its replay system, and another major change could be implemented for the 2021 season.

Peter King of NBC Sports reported in his weekly column on Monday that NFL owners will vote later this month on potentially giving in-stadium replay crews added power. The change would mean officials in the replay booth could intervene on catch/no-catch calls, down-by-contact calls and close sideline plays if they feel the call on the field may have been incorrect.

That sounds similar to college football, where replay officials in the booth have the ability to stop a game if they determine something needs to be reviewed. All reviews in the NFL also come from the booth when there is less than two minutes in a half, so it sounds like that could just be expanded to include the entire game.

Coaches would still have the ability to challenge plays, but expanding the power of in-stadium replay officials could certainly help. We have seen coaches potentially cost their teams games by botching challenge situations. One of the best examples was when Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy for some reason decided not to challenge this questionable catch last season.

The concern with expanded replay is always that it could potentially slow the game down, but getting the calls right is most important. Giving in-stadium replay officials more responsibility sounds like a good idea.

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