In comments to the Associated Press, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized to the fans for the three weeks of replacement officials.
"Obviously when you go through something llike this it is painful for everybody, " he said on a conference call Thursday, about 12 hours after the league reached a deal to bring back the regular officials. "Most importantly, it is painful for our fans."
Two days after a missed call on the final play cost the Green Bay Packers in their loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL and the officials' union announced a tentative eight-year agreement to end a lockout that started in June.
"You never want to see a game end like that," Goodell said.
Goodell asserted, players' health and safety were never jeopardized by the use of replacement officials.