NFL, officials reach agreement

The NFL and its locked out officials reached an agreement late Wednesday night for the regular refs to return to action, beginning this weekend, according to

The regular refs won't have any time to wait as they will call tonight's Cleveland Browns-Baltimore Ravens game on Thursday Night Football.

Talks between league and the officials intensified this week after a number of errors in games over the weekend brought attention to the replacement refs' lack of competency. In the Detroit-Tennessee game, the Titans were given 12 extra yards on a penalty markoff on their winning drive in overtime Sunday.

And the problems culminated with the Hail Mary mistake on Monday night that was ruled a Seattle touchdown, giving the Seahawks a 14-12 victory over Green Bay, when the ball was actually intercepted by the Packers.

The new agreement between the league and the officials is for eight years.

"As you know, this has to be ratified and we know very little about it, but we're excited to be back. And ready," referee Ed Hochuli told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "And I think that's the most important message -- that we're ready."

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

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