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Three NFL Alumni Return As Game Officials

While team playing rosters will not be decided until later this month, the roster of game officials for this season already has been determined and three of our fellow NFL alumni are included on that list.

All three men are young veterans on the staff. Field judge Nate Jones (# 33) and umpire Terry Killens (#77) are in their fifth NFL season of officiating while umpire Mike Morton (# 89) is in his second season on the field.

The 41-year-old Jones was a seventh-round draft choice of the Cowboys in 2004 and played eight seasons as a cornerback with four teams. He also officiated in the Pac-10 before being hired by the NFL in 2019.

Killens is 49 years old and was a third-round pick of the Titans in 1996. He also played with the 49ers and Seahawks in a seven-year career. Killens worked in the American Athletic Conference before he re-joined the NFL in 2019.

Finally, Morton (that’s DOCTOR Morton to his family, friends, and patients) was a fourth-round draft choice of the Raiders in 1995 and played linebacker for seven years in the league with four teams. He worked in the ACC before becoming an NFL official last season.

When all three men are out of uniform, Morton is a dentist in his hometown of Kannapolis (NC) while Jones is a firefighter in the Dallas (TX) area and Killens is a security specialist in Mason (OH).

The league continues to recognize, mentor and support game officials and potential officials on all levels of our sport. For example, the NFL and National Federation of State High School Associations announced a new initiative last week to increase participation in- and recognition of– high school officiating during the upcoming season. NFL clubs will work in conjunction with state associations to serve as host locations for a state officials association meeting and recruitment event. These meetings will serve as opportunities for individuals interested in becoming an official to meet those already involved in officiating in their community.