Referees for this weekend's NFL Divisional Playoff games in Denver, San Francisco, New England and Atlanta have been named with 7-year veteran Bill Vinovich getting the assignment for the Broncos, Ravens showdown Saturday afternoon.
Vinovich has 7-years of experience, but 2012 is his first season back on the field after a dangerous heart condition forced him to take a medical leave of absence in 2006. According to FootballZebras.com, Vinovich was working out on a treadmill after the 2006 season when he experienced back pain. Upon further evaluation, he was diagnosed with an extremely dangerous aortic aneurysm. Doctor's cured his condition, but they felt the strain of on-field officiating was too dangers and refused to allow him back on the field.
Vinovich remained with the NFL as an Observer, scouting and grading NFL officials during games. Vinovich was cleared to return to the field this season.
Vinovich will be working his 5th playoff game, the third time he will be officiating in the Divisional round. Vinovich is an interesting choice since he was considered a 'swing official' this season, meaning he didn't have a crew of his own. One good reason for his selection, perhaps, is he did not officiate a game involving the Broncos or Ravens this season.