Football Zebras broke the news Monday that NFL official Sarah Thomas will become the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game when she takes the field as a down judge for the Patriots-Chargers divisional round match-up on Sunday.
According to NBC Sports Boston, Thomas is in her fourth season as an NFL official, and she was an alternate official for an NFC wild card game between the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams last season.
Thomas will join referee Ron Torbert’s crew at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Sunday afternoon. The full officiating crew for the Patriots-Chargers game is as follows, via Football Zebras:
Referee: Ron Torbert, #62
Umpire: Rich Hall, #49
Down judge: Sarah Thomas, #53
Line judge: Mark Steinkerchner, #84
Field judge: Brad Rogers, #126
Side judge: Scott Roberts, #3
Back judge: Dino Paganelli, 105
- Replay official: Mike Chase
- Replay assistant: Marv LeBlanc
- Alternates: Pete Morelli (R), Walt Coleman IV, Jabir Walker (SJ)
This is not the first gender barrier Thomas has broken in her officiating career. She was the first woman to officiate a major college football game, the first woman to officiate in a Big Ten stadium, and was the first woman hired by the NFL as a full-time official in April 2015.