Aug 8, 2012 2:30 PM by Siera Santos
CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (AP) - Shannon Eastin could be the first of several female game officials in the league, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says.
Eastin is a replacement line judge who will make her NFL debut in Thursday night's Green Bay at San Diego exhibition game. The regular officials are locked out by the league after their contract expired.
Goodell says he thinks Eastin will "do terrific ... and there are more coming, by the way."
Eastin is a referee in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (FCS division) and also runs a company that trains officials in football and basketball. She says she's like to see more women learning to be officials.
Adds Goodell, "We've been working along this path to try to properly train and prepare a female official, and now we have the opportunity."