There is some concern in league circles about the NFL’s judgment in allowing four game officials who live in Southern California to work the NFC Championship Game between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints, according to sources.

Those same four officials were the ones most responsible for the non-call on Nickell Robey-Coleman’s early, helmet-to-helmet hit on Tommy lee Lewis that was widely viewed as pass interference. 

“The NFL put [itself] in a bad situation,” one officiating source told ESPN. “This is stuff that has to be taken care of prior to game. It’s just guys not thinking of what’s going on, nobody doing their checks and balances. The league is usually pretty much on top of it. This is one that slipped through the cracks.”

Referee Bill Vinovich, who led the game’s officiating crew, lives in Newport Beach, California. 

Down judge Patrick Turner, whose primary responsibility was to follow Lewis on the blown call from start to finish, lives in Lakewood, California, in Los Angeles County.

Side judge Gary Cavaletto, whose job was to initially watch outside receiver Dan Arnold before shifting his focus once the ball was thrown to Lewis, lives in Santa Barbara, California. 

Back judge Todd Prukop, who was stationed in the end zone as an extra set of eyes on the controversial play, lives in Mission Viejo, California.

Officiating assignments are given to teams on Monday, and there were no complaints from either the Rams or Saints in advance, according to a league source.

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