Female official makes NFL history

Line judge Shannon Eastin runs on the field during the first quarter of an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the St. Louis Rams in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/

DETROIT — Shannon Eastin made NFL history.


Eastin was the line judge in Sunday’s St. Louis Rams-Detroit Lions game, making her the first woman to be an official in a regular-season game.

She is among the replacement officials hired by the league while the regular officials are locked out. Replacement officials are working games for the first time in 11 years.

Eastin became the first female official to work an NFL preseason game last month as the line judge when Green Bay played at San Diego. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has the hat and whistle she used during that preseason game, and they’ll be displayed in Canton, Ohio.

The 42-year-old resident of Tempe, Ariz. has worked as a referee in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference – college football’s second-highest level – and has 16 years of officiating experience. MEAC officials declined comment on Eastin, as did the NFL in the days leading up to the groundbreaking assignment.

“Commenting on individual officials is not something we do,” league spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email. “Her place in league history speaks for itself.”


CARDINALS: Quarterback John Skelton was carted off the field after injuring his right ankle against Seattle. He was injured with 8:33 left in the fourth quarter.


STEELERS: Linebacker James Harrison and running back Rashard Mendenhall were held out of Sunday’s game with knee injuries.