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Volume 24 No. 179
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NFL Notes: Goodell Hopes To Have Potential Successor For Commissioner In Place By '20

CBSSPORTS.com's Jason La Canfora reported NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is "hopeful of having a potential successor in place" by '20 who could "learn on the job" as the CBA negotiations and new broadcast contracts unfold in the coming years. Sources said that the "potential commissioner-in-waiting will not be formally recognized as such." But it will be "understood in league circles that this person is training for the position, in essence, and should they develop as expected and fit into the league's culture, then they will have emerged as the primary in-house candidate for the position by the time Goodell steps aside" (CBSSPORTS.com, 12/17).

CAUSE FOR CONCERN: Fox' Jay Glazer said there is a "legitimate concern" in the NFL about the "safety of the officials" following a number of on-field incidents in recent weeks. Glazer: "They hear and see the frustration that's grown, but the last couple of weeks, three officials have been hit by players and actually injured." The NFL last week sent a memo to teams, and at the owners' meeting, the NFL "said to all executives ... 'If we see anything we deem to be crossing the line, we are going to act swiftly and drop the hammer fast and protect these guys'" ("Fox NFL Sunday," 12/17).

INJURY BUG: In DC, Mark Maske wrote the NFL's on-field product "has suffered because of the absence of some of the best and most popular players." The season has been "more about those who aren't playing than those who are." When it comes to the injuries, those within the league "can't believe the amount of misfortune." NFL officials last week said that they "weren't yet ready to say whether the injury rate is any higher this season." But they "certainly know that the impact of the injuries has been problematic given the caliber of the players involved" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/16). In N.Y., Gary Myers wrote this season has "lacked a super power team." Myers: "Well, I found one by putting together the best players who have suffered season-ending injuries" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/17).