Jason Avant on replacement refs: 'That's a big deal for us'

Jason Avant and other players have expressed concern about the NFL's use of replacent officials. (Sarah J. Glover/Staff file photo)

It looks like the NFL will go into the season with replacement officials. Jason Avant, who is entering his seventh NFL season and is a respected voice in the Eagles locker, sees potential danger in the NFL's inability to reach an agreement with the officials' union, which he believes contradicts NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's stance on player safety.

"Our commissioner is all about player safety, and a deal not being done, there's a definite compromise, kind of an oxymoron, so to speak, when it comes to player safety with the refs not being there," Avant said. "A lot of guys are kind of concerned about it. That's a big deal for us, as far as player safety. Around the locker room, everyone talks about it. All the players know about it."

Avant said that players will know what what calls the officials will make, and what calls a player can get away with. And players will use this to their advantage -- and potentially risk opposing players in the process.

"It's like guys are going to kind of like, cheat," Avant said. 

Avant is a slot receiver, so he plays in traffic. He is a player who could be put at risk, and also get away with more than he usually does.

"Even with the regular officials, that's the most non-calls in the league, is in the inside," Avant said. "With that being said, it's going to hard for guys not accustomed to making those calls to see those calls. I'm not concerned about it. I just have to do a little pushing off myself."