It's looking like EA Sports might be working to bring some official referee likenesses into 2013's Madden NFL 14, according to what "two different sources close to the NFL Referees Association" told Kotaku. The rumor suggests that officials' facial features have already been scanned for future in-game use, most likely to be included as an improvement to Madden's broadcast-style presentation.
The rumor emerged only hours before the real-life NFL reached an agreement that will bring the professional sport's 17 union officials back to the field to call plays each week. The first three controversial weeks of the 2012/2013 NFL season drew the ire of fans as untrained replacement refs made a range of bad calls and generally just slowed down the unfolding events of each game. The contract dispute that was at the heart of the matter has now been resolved and the replacement refs are no more. Thanks be.
EA Sports has yet to comment on the ref rumor, and probably won't until there's something official to announce regarding Madden NFL 14. For now, football fans can simply be happy with the fact that real refs will be calling the plays in week 4 and beyond.