NFL to open with replacement officials

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The NFL has announced that the replacement referees it has been using will officiate the league's week-one games. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski)

The NFL announced today it will open the regular season with replacement officials.

League executive Ray Anderson has told the 32 teams that with negotiations remain at a standstill between the NFL and the officials’ union. The replacements will be on the field beginning next Wednesday night when the Cowboys visit the Giants to open the season.

The NFL Referees Association was locked out in early June and talks on a new collective bargaining agreement went nowhere. Replacements have been used throughout the preseason, with mixed results.

In 2001, the NFL used replacements for the first week of the regular season before a contract was finalized.

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