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Daily Madden: NFL Referees Return; Lockout Effects To Linger

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized to football fans Thursday for having to use replacement officials during a lockout of regular referees, saying it was "painful for everybody."

The referees' union and the league agreed on a tentative deal that allows the regular officials to return to work in time for Thursday night's game in Baltimore between the Ravens and the Cleveland Browns.

The sigh of relief will not erase three weeks of controversial calls, John Madden told the KCBS morning crew.

"As we get down to the end of the year, we're going to have playoff implications," he said.

"There's going to be teams that get in by a game or get eliminated by a single game," Madden said, reigniting debate about questionable calls by the replacement officials.

And don't expect the 2012 football season to immediately go back to normal just having the regular officials on the field again, since the regular refs missed their own training camp and four pre-season games because of the lockout.

They may be in shape, Madden said, "but I don't know that they'll be in football shape."

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM. And catch John's extra report at 9:15 a.m. Mondays and Fridays during the NFL season.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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