The Detroit Lions have had to deal with several frustrations as it relates to NFL referees this year, and this week, the league has given the team a brand new referee with which to work.
As revealed by Football Zebras, Brad Rogers gets the call for this week’s game between the Lions and the Minnesota Vikings in Week 7. If that name isn’t familiar to Lions fans, it’s because Rogers is a brand new referee to the league for this season. He started in 2019 as a referee and is one of three rookie officials for this year.
Rogers has been on an NFL field before, however. As a Football Zebras profile piece explains, he served as a field judge in 2017 and 2018 in the lead into this new role. He was previously a referee in the SEC and Conference USA prior to working in the NFL, and got his start as a high school referee in 1991. Safe to say he has worked his way up the ranks to the big leagues.
Too Many Penalties
If it’s excessive flags the Lions fans didn’t want for this game, well, they’ve come to the wrong place with this crew. As was pointed out this week, Rogers and his crew are very fond of the flag. They average 16.83 penalties per game as was pointed out by Erik Schlitt of the Lions Wire, which is a very high total in the league.
The Lions have been doomed by crews that throw plenty of flags before, so they will have to hope that Rogers and his group go easy on the tosses this week. History, though, suggests that Rogers and his group will call things extra tight. That will put pressure on the Lions to make sure they can play within the confines of the rules as Matt Patricia routinely says. That’s the focus for the team this week after their struggles on Monday.
Detroit has played games with newer officials before that like flags. Memory shifts back to 2016 when the Tennessee Titans played the Lions at Ford Field. That day, 29 total penalties were called by Brad Allen’s crew, which was a huge total. While Allen wasn’t a rookie, he had only been a referee since 2014.
The hope and expectation is nothing close to that amount plays out this week.
Detroit’s last referee Clete Blakeman, who has been drawing scorn all week, will officiate the San Francisco 49ers battle with the Washington Redskins. As for the NFC North, the Chicago Bears draw Scott Novack for their battle with the New Orleans Saints, and the Green Bay Packers will have Alex Kemp on the call for their battle with the Oakland Raiders.
No matter who the referee is for Week 7, most Lions fans can likely agree they’re happy not to see Blakeman and company get the assignment again. The rest of the season, Detroit fans are likely to continue franticly checking to see where Blakeman is on the register after what happened this past week.
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