The regular NFL officials returned to cheers, and the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns didn't give the crowd much to yell about during a scoreless first quarter Thursday night.
Browns punt returner Joshua Cribbs lost his helmet while taking a hard hit, and lay prone for several minutes before being helped from the field. He had a head injury and was declared out for the game.
A lockout of the league's regular officials ended late Wednesday, clearing the way for the exit of the controversial replacement refs. And so, finally, the real officials were in place for Week 4, beginning with this game between AFC North rivals.
As they walked onto the field hours before the game, the officiating crew received a round of applause and shouts of encouragement from fans in the lower sections. Head linesman Wayne Mackie and line judge Jeff Seeman both tipped their caps to acknowledge the support.
And then, before the pregame coin flip, referee Gene Steratore greeted the players a...