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NFL reportedly fires down judge in middle of season

Ryan Hannable
October 25, 2018 - 9:23 pm
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In an unprecedented move, the NFL has let one of its game officials go in the middle of the season.

First reported by FootballZebras.com, NFL down judge Hugo Cruz has been fired for performance reasons.

Cruz was responsible for a big mistake in Week 6 when he missed an obvious false start by Chargers left tackle Russell Okung on a scoring play against the Browns. He didn't work in Week 7 and according to ESPN, there was no indication Cruz was involved in any off-field incidents or that his firing was in any way disciplinary.

He was hired in 2015 and did not work any Patriots games this season.

"The NFL has a troubling history of knee-jerk reactions with an eye on public relations, and clearly it has not learned from past mistakes," said Scott Green, executive director of the NFL Referees Association to ESPN. "The NFLRA will protect the collectively bargained rights of all officials and will challenge this reckless decision through the grievance process."

This is the first time an official has been fired in the middle of the season in the Super Bowl era.

Related: Kyle Van Noy: Bill Belichick saved my career

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