The NFL's use of replacement referees -- and the controversy that it has created in just three weeks of the 2012 season -- could end soon.
ESPN has reported that talks progressed enough Tuesday that regular officials could be back in time for games of Sunday (Sept. 30). An agreement in principle is at hand, according to one source familiar with the talks.
The NFL Referees Association reportedly says its 121 referees have been trained on the new rules implemented last season, and have passed physicals or are prepared to pass physicals immediately.
The league's use of replacement referees has caused many to question the league's integrity. The furor peaked in Monday night's Green Bay-Seattle game, in which Seattle was awarded a game-winning touchdown on a play in which a Green Bay defender appeared to intercept the ball.
Also, referees were involved in several disputed calls in the Denver-Atlanta Monday night game earlier in September.
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