Pylon camera not ready for Bears-Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The NFL is close to adding cameras into the goal-line pylons, but they will not be ready in time for the Green Bay Packers’ game Thursday night against the Chicago Bears.

In an email to on Wednesday afternoon, Alex Riethmiller, the vice president of communications at NFL Network, ended any speculation that the new cameras might be used at Lambeau Field on Thursday for the game between the two NFC North rivals.

“The pylon cameras are still being tested and thus won’t be used in (the Packers-Bears) game,” Riethmiller wrote in the email. “We’re still weeks away from using them.”

In a story on Pro Football Talk on Tuesday, Mark Quenzel, NFL Network’s senior vice president of production and programming, first mentioned the new cameras, with a possibility of them being ready for the game Thursday.

“We’re playing around with a camera, believe it or not, that’s going to be in the pylon,” Quenzel was quoted as saying. “I don’t know if we’re going to have it this week. We’re still working out some kinks on the pylons, that allow us to see goal-line stands, those types of things.”

When the pylon cameras are ready, it could become helpful in instant replay situations near the goal-line. If the referees have a camera that close, it should make it much easier to determine whether a player reached the end zone before his knee was down.

FOX analyst Mike Pereira, the former vice president of officiating for the NFL, expressed excitement about the idea in an email to

“I am all for it if it is proven that the shots that you can get from these small cameras can help decide whether the ball breaks the goal-line plane or not,” Pereira wrote in the email. “Skycam has been used as a camera angle when making replay decisions so this, to me, would be a welcome addition.”

But when the Packers and Bears square off for the 185th time, the NFL’s oldest rivalry will have to rely on the current set of cameras to assist the replacement referees.

Follow Paul Imig on Twitter