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Sugar Land's Walt Anderson says NFL referees are going back to work

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

The labor impasse between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association has ended.

Veteran NFL referee Walt Anderson, of Sugar Land, told FOX 26 Sports late Wednesday night that the NFL and the NFLRA has reached an agreement in principle on an eight-year contract.

"We've heard from our board that they've confirmed that an agreement has been reached in principle between the NFL and the officials union," Anderson said. "It looks like they've worked out details where we can begin work immediately. So it looks like we're going to work this weekend.

"We'll head to Dallas on Friday to formally ratify everything and as usual head to our games on Saturday and be ready to work this weekend's games. My understanding is that they're going to have a crew that will have special authorization to even work (tonight's) game."

Anderson is referring to tonight's game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore.

"All the referees and all of the officials have been working close to pretty much as we normally would with video reviews and staying up on the rules changes," Anderson said. "We've been going through the evaluations as if we were working. Physically we're ready to go.

"Other than working the games we tried to mimic exactly what we would have been doing since the preseason started, not knowing when this thing would eventually be settled.

Anderson acknowledged the mistake made on the touchdown pass on the game's final play that gave the Seattle Seahawks the victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night played a role in getting the two sides together.

"I think it's pretty evident that sort of solidified the concern that everybody had, that we certainly want to get this thing done before situations like that occurred," Anderson said. "I think it's very unfortunate that it ended up happening. It certainly provided a bit of a catalyst to at least move the process on in an even more expedited manner than what was already going on prior to Monday."

Anderson, who has worked 17 years in the NFL, the last ten as a referee, said he and his colleagues are thrilled the lockout is over.

"We're just all tickled to death that we're going back to work," Anderson said. "I think the whole football world is happy.

"My wife is happy."

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