Replacement ref furor grows after wild Seattle win

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Yet some players aren’t completely down on the performances of the replacements.

Patriots receiver Deion Branch noted all the controversy about officiating throughout the league.

“But I think the bigger picture is that we’ve all got to understand that, hey, they’re making those calls on both sides of the ball,” Branch said. “Us as players, we need to remove ourselves from what the refs are doing and just go out and play our game.”

Rams defensive end Chris Long offered, apparently with no sarcasm, that the game “hasn’t changed at all with the replacement officials because officials don’t care about defensive linemen, replacement or first-tier officials.”

Then he admitted taking the regular officials for granted.

“The NFL could really use them back,” Long said.

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Sports Writers Howard Ulman, Rachel Cohen, Tom Withers, R.B. Fallstrom, Joseph White, Noah Trister, Jon Krawczynski and Teresa M. Walker contributed to this story.

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