Al Riveron, the NFL's senior vice president of officiating, was not in the league office's replay command center last Sunday for the Week 1 games because he was at home in Miami battling the coronavirus, league sources told ESPN.
But Riveron said Saturday that he will return to the command center Sunday for Week 2 and is "feeling great." To date, Riveron is the highest-profile NFL employee who has been forced to miss a game day because of COVID-19.
With Riveron out last Sunday, it was next man up: The NFL's vice president of instant replay, Russell Yurk, stepped into the role that Riveron usually has on game day, being a critical voice on any disputed replay call.
Most team owners, head coaches and general managers don't know who is in the officiating command center in New York, and they certainly don't know the depth chart. They didn't know that some of their fates last Sunday were being decided by Yurk, who was a replay official under former NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino and started in the league office with Riveron in 2017.