Refs due back Thursday night

Updated: September 27, 2012, 12:43 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- The NFL's regular officiating crews are back. Their return couldn't have come soon enough for many players, coaches and fans.

After two days of marathon negotiations -- and mounting frustration throughout the league -- the NFL and the officials' union announced shortly after midnight that a tentative eight-year agreement had been reached to end a lockout that began in June.

The deal came on the heels of Seattle's chaotic last-second win over Green Bay on Monday ...

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