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NFL Stresses Respect For Replacement Refs In Week 3

The first two weeks of NFL action have been marred by replacement referees brought in by the league after the regular referees were locked out.

Games have devolved into more chaos than usual at times with altercations on the field becoming common place as the referees struggle to keep control of games. Monday night's game between the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons brought it to a new level when both coaches got into confrontations with the referees on duty.

The NFL sent out several messages by phone to officials from all 32 teams, telling them that there needs to be more respect for the referees in the weeks ahead. NFL Vice President Ray Anderson said that if there was more of what we saw in Week 2, the consequences could be severe:

On potential penalties for any such behavior going forward, Anderson said: "Fines. And if it's egregious, over-the-line stuff, we could include any other penalties, like suspensions, that are normally assessed."

No progress has yet been made between the NFL and the referees association as they attempt to work out negotiations. The two sides had discussions on Tuesday and Wednesday but nothing appeared to come from them.

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