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Giants Now (7/20): NFL clubs receive update on preparations for 2020 season


NFL clubs receive update on preparations for 2020 season

NFL clubs met Friday via videoconference and received an update on preparations for the 2020 season.

"We will continue to implement the health and safety protocols developed jointly with the NFLPA, and based on the advice of leading medical experts, including review by the CDC," the league said in a statement. "We will address additional issues in a cooperative way. All decisions will be made in an effort to put us in position to play a full regular season and postseason culminating with the Super Bowl which is the shared goal of the clubs and the players."

The first group of Giants players — which includes rookies, quarterbacks and injured players — is scheduled to report on July 23. The rest of the team is set to report on July 28.

2020 NFL roster of officials confirmed; group includes three former NFL players and six first-year officials

The NFL roster of game officials for the 2020 season will include six individuals in their first NFL season and one new referee, the league announced Friday.

Launching their NFL officiating careers in 2020 are side judge Tra Blake (ACC), field judge Joe Blubaugh (Big 12), line judge Mike Dolce (Big Ten), down judge Frank Leblanc (Big 12), side judge Clay Reynard (Pac-12) and umpire Tab Slaughter (Big 12). The six are graduates of the NFL Officiating Department's Officiating Development Program, which trains top college football officials in all aspects of NFL officiating.

Land Clark has been promoted to referee for the upcoming season, following two seasons as a field judge. He was a referee in the Pac-12 Conference prior to entering the NFL and has been part of the NFL's Referee Training Program since his first season in the league.

The 2020 roster of officials includes three former NFL players – back judge Steve Freeman, field judge Nate Jones and umpire Terry Killens.

Freeman, entering his 20th season as an NFL official, was a defensive back for 13 seasons, 12 with Buffalo and one with Minnesota.

Jones joined the NFL officiating staff in 2019 from the Pac-12, following an eight-year career as a defensive back with Dallas, Miami, Denver and New England.

Killens, who also joined the NFL officiating ranks last season from the American Athletic Conference, was a linebacker during his seven NFL seasons, entering the league as a member of the Houston Oilers before the franchise became the Tennessee Titans. He also played for San Francisco and Seattle before beginning his officiating career.

Freeman and his son, back judge Brad Freeman, represent the lone set of father-son officials active in the NFL. Referees Shawn Hochuli and Alex Kemp, as well as line judges Walt Coleman IV and Jeff Seeman, are the sons of former NFL referees. Additionally, three sets of brothers – Allen and Rusty Baynes, Jeff and Jerry Bergman, and Carl, Dino and Perry Paganelli – appear on the 2020 roster.

Line judge Jeff Bergman, entering his 29th NFL season, remains the longest-serving official.

The Giants' COVID-19 Task Force has been working hard to make the Quest Diagnostics Training Center as safe as possible. Many important changes have been made for the safety of Giants employees in accordance with guidelines from the CDC, NFL, National Institute of Health, and the State of New Jersey.


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