Game officials Bob Waggoner (L) and Gene Steratore (R) take the field with the rest of the game crew for the first time this season before the start of the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns on September 27, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Photographer: Getty Images
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PHOENIX - It's official, the regular referees are back and have completed their first game of the season as the Ravens defeated the Browns 23-16.
Players from across the country were relieved when the news broke.
When asked about the replacement refs at Cardinals practice on Thursday, head coach Ken Whisenhunt said, "It's a tough situation for anybody to be in." He went on to say, "I'm glad that the NFL and the Referee's Association got it worked out and they're back at work."
Let's flash back to Week One of the NFL when the Seahawks faced the Cardinals and head coach Pete Carroll received an extra timeout. The replacement referees then spent four and a half minutes trying to figure out if they gave the Seahawks an extra timeout.
However, Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes defended the replacement referees. "I think everybody's happy to see those guys [regular refs] back, but I don't want to discount the replacement referees...for them to come out and be put in that situation and ref an NFL game, just the speed of it for them had to be difficult. I think they did a good job for the most part. They had some not-so-good moments but I think that's just part of it," he said.
For Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, he said he's expecting the games should speed up.
"It's nice to know that the games probably won't be as slow and calls will be made right. So I guess from the standpoint of the fans, the game should be a lot smoother and as a player I'm happy to see those guys back to work."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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