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Report: NFL, Regular Refs Nearing Deal to End Lockout, Bench Replacements

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NFL referee, Ed Hochuli. (Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

NFL referee, Ed Hochuli. (Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — After weeks of controversial calls, phantom flags, utter confusion and chaos, the locked out regular NFL officials may soon return to the field.

The league and the NFL Referees Association made significant progress during negotiation sessions on Tuesday and there are rumblings the replacement officials could be sent home as soon as this weekend.

Obstacles remain before a final agreement is officially reached, however.

While the league and officials have reached concessions on major points such as a developmental referee squad and pension plans, they are still battling over “a little more money” according to ESPN.

There is also concern a number of officials will not be able to pass the required physical in order to return to work.

Once an agreement is fully reached at least half of 121-man officiating corps must ratify it.

The full-time officials were kept abreast of rule changes during the lockout on a weekly conference call with Ed Hochuli.

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