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Larry Fitzgerald: Replacement refs lack consistency


CULVER CITY, Calif. -- We ran into Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in the hallway Tuesday morning, and he told Around the League that concern over the replacement officials isn't limited to the players and coaches of the Green Bay Packers.

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"I think that the consistency that we're used to, what the standard has been over the years, I don't think we have that right now," Fitzgerald said. "As a player, you just want them to protect the shield, protect the integrity of the game. This is what people turn games on for ... because they know they're going to get a product that's the best in the world, it's been proven. And I think the NFL officials have a big place in that. ... They've kept the game played well to a higher standard for many years, and we want to just get that back."

Fitzgerald was at NFL Network to promote "The Jersey Report," a Dick's Sporting Goods initiative that allows fans to track the jersey sales of their favorite players. We predict a sharp downturn in Wisconsin-based commerce for any garb celebrating Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate, whose controversial catch in the end zone was simultaneously ruled a touchdown by one replacement official and an interception by another. A head-spinning uproar was born.

"I saw that play, and it was -- I think it was clearly an interception, and I think everybody feels the same way," Fitzgerald said. "It's really tough. You work so hard throughout the course of the week, throughout the course of the offseason, to try to win games, and to lose them like that, it's just tough."

All of Green Bay nods in agreement.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.