NFL experiments with 8th official on field
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The NFL is experimenting with an eighth on-field official at four preseason games.

Called a "deep judge," the official was part of crews working Saturday's Tennessee-Carolina and New York Giants-Baltimore games. The official was also used at Friday's Atlanta-Miami contest and is scheduled for Thursday's Cincinnati-Indianapolis game.

The official is positioned in the defensive backfield opposite the back judge. His primary responsibility is to watch for eligible receivers, but he can also help with watching other parts of the field as assignments have changed since the umpire was moved into the offensive backfield.