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Goodell says fans deserve better than replacements refs

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has told fans “you deserve better” than games worked by replacement officials.

In an open letter released by the league Friday, a day after the regular officials returned to the field, Goodell says: “I regret we were not able to secure an agreement sooner in the process and avoid the unfortunate distractions to the game.”

BOUNTY CASE: Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita met with Goodell for about one hour Friday about his suspension in the Saints’ bounty case that was temporarily lifted earlier this month.

Former Saints teammates expected Fujita to reinforce their testimony and deny the existence of a pay-for-pain bounty program.

FINED: Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch and Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Mundy each have been fined $21,000 by the NFL for flagrant hits.

PANTHERS: Coach Ron Rivera said star linebacker Jon Beason is back at practice but questionable for Sunday’s game at Atlanta.

The three-time Pro Bowl player sat out most of the week with shoulder and knee problems. He practiced on a limited basis Friday.

GIANTS: Receiver Hakeem Nicks is doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles because of soreness in his surgically repaired right foot and swelling in his knee.

Nicks sat out the Giants’ win over Carolina last Thursday because of soreness in his foot.

He said earlier this week that he and the Giants were being cautious with his foot and that he had not suffered a setback.


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