After a lousy first week in the NFL, replacement officials again came under fire this weekend following trip-ups, missed calls, and general ineptitude. While Roger Goodell testifies to the NFL's increased emphasis on player safety, his continued lockout of union officials reveals the league really doesn't give a damn about the issue. After all, the NFL can add new rules (say, about crack-back blocks) and train the officials about them in the offseason, but if those officials end up locked out, that awareness never sees the playing field anyway.
This week's blunders by replacement officials run a wide gamut. We found more than 50 of them, but omitted acts of general stupidity (like the referee in Jacksonville speaking to the wrong sideline or utterances like "Penalty on #93 Red"). A substantial number of them, though, are of the nature that directly put players at risk. From the missed Golden Tate crack-back that earned him a $21,000 fine to extremely late whistles that put every player on the field in danger, it's impossible to watch the following video and conclude the NFL is doing all in its power to protect its players. In a lockout, after all, agency lies with the NFL. (A breakdown of each clip can be found below the video, and you're encouraged to pause and rewind because each clip is very short.)