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NFL dignitaries pay tribute to Steve Sabol

Steve Sabol Getty Images

At NFL Films, Steve Sabol preferred to put the focus on the field, and not on himself. But Sabol, the NFL Films president who died in September, was the focus of an event on Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Patriots owner Robert Kraft were among the league’s bigwigs in attendance, and Kraft paid tribute to the way Sabol was able to convince even the most secretive coaches — including Kraft’s own coach — to allow NFL Films to have access.

In a league of clandestine coaches from Lombardi to even Bill Belichick,” Kraft said, via the Houston Chronicle, “Steve was able to gain their trust.”

NFL Films chief operating officer Howard Katz put together some of NFL Films’ best highlights and had a live orchestra play over them, in what he described as a night for Sabol that “would have made him laugh, made him cry, made him cheer and made him dream.”

That’s what Sabol made NFL fans do.

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Adrian Peterson: “I won’t ever use a switch again”

adrianpeterson AP

Whether Adrian Peterson changes teams this offseason remains to be seen.

But Peterson said he’s a changed man, regardless.

The Vikings running back, in his first interview since his indictment on child abuse charges and his subsequent suspension for the rest of this season, told Tom Pelissero of USA Today that he knows he can’t discipline his children the way he had in the past.

I won’t ever use a switch again,” Peterson said. “There’s different situations where a child needs to be disciplined as far as timeout, taking their toys away, making them take a nap. There’s so many different ways to discipline your kids.”

While he’s been painted as the worst kind of person after pictures emerged of the welts on his 4-year-old son’s legs from the tree branch he used to whip him, Peterson insisted the remorse he feels is real, and he hopes to repair the relationship with his son.

“No one knows how I felt when I turned my child around after spanking him and seeing what I had left on his leg,” Peterson said. “No one knows that Dad sat there and apologized to him, hugged him and told him that I didn’t mean to do this to you and how sorry I was.

“I love my son. I love my kids, my family. Like I said after I took the misdemeanor plea, I take full responsibility for my actions. I regret the situation. I love my son more than any one of you could even imagine.”

When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent the suspension letter to Peterson, he mentioned Peterson’s failure to show “meaningful remorse.”

Peterson denied that.

“Ultimately, I know I’ll have my opportunity to sit down with Roger face to face, and I’ll be able to say a lot of the same things that I’ve said to you,” Peterson said. “Don’t say that I’m not remorseful, because in my statement, I showed that I was remorseful. I regretted everything that took place. I love my child, more than anyone could ever imagine.”

It is hard to imagine, based on the photos we’ve all seen, and the descriptions of the injuries we’ve all read. And that makes Peterson’s growth as a father and a person will be a tougher climb than getting back on an NFL field.

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Pete Carroll says league admitted to missing two P-I calls last week against Chiefs

Seattle Seahawks v Kansas City Chiefs Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks fans have heard this one before. Incorrect calls by a referee crew led by Bill Leavy may have cost the Seahawks a chance at victory last week against the Kansas City Chiefs.

According to Jim Corbett of USA Today, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino informed the Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll that Leavy’s crew erred in rulings on two potential pass interference calls in Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Chiefs.

The most glaring one was a fourth-and-goal from the Kansas City 2-yard line with 7:11 left to play. Baldwin ran a corner route from the left slot and was run into and bumped off his route by cornerback Sean Smith. Baldwin threw his hands up begging for a call that wouldn’t come.

Per Carroll, the league said a penalty should have been called on the play.

“The interpretation was it definitely played a factor in (Baldwin’s) route and it should have been called,” Carroll said. “There’s nothing you can do about it. You just have to live with it. That’s just part of the game.”

So instead of a first-and-goal opportunity from the 1-yard line while trailing by four, the Seahawks turned the ball over on downs and were never able to score the touchdown needed to overcome the deficit.

A win over Kansas City would have kept Seattle two games behind the division leading Arizona Cardinals with both matchups against the Cardinals still yet to play. Instead, the Seahawks are now three games back and have little margin for error in their efforts to return to the postseason to defend last year’s Super Bowl title.

Leavy was the head referee for Super Bowl XL when the Seahawks lost 21-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Leavy later admitted to reporters in Seattle on a training camp visit that his crew had made incorrect calls against the Seahawks in that game as well.

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Raiders snap 16-game losing streak with 24-20 win over Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs v Oakland Raiders Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders 16-game losing streak is over.

Derek Carr orchestrated a 17-play, 80-yard drive that lasted over seven minutes with Carr connecting with James Jones for a 9-yard touchdown as the Raiders earned a 24-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

The Raiders put a notch into the win column for the first time since Nov. 17, 2013 when Oakland picked up a 28-23 victory over the Houston Texans.

The 2008 Detroit Lions 0-16 mark will not be equaled by the 2014 Raiders.

The Raiders appeared to be set to blow a chance at victory after jumping out to a 17-3 lead. Latavius Murray scored the first two rushing touchdowns the Chiefs Defense had allowed all season in the first half before exiting with a concussion. Murray scored on runs of 11 and 90 yards for Oakland to take a 14-0 lead.

A 40-yard Sebastian Janikoski field goal gave the Raiders a 17-3 lead with 5:05 left in the third quarter before the Chiefs began to rally.

Kansas City outscored the Raiders 17-0 since the latter stages of the third quarter to take a 20-17 lead early in the fourth.

Alex Smith connected with Anthony Fasano for a 19-yard touchdown pass on a blown coverage by the Raiders for Kansas City’s first touchdown of the night.

The Chiefs scored again on their following possession as Smith dumped a pass across the middle to Jamaal Charles, who sliced through the Raiders Defense for a 30-yard touchdown to tie the game at 17-17 with 12:20 left to play. After a Raiders three-and-out, the Chiefs moved inside the Raiders 10-yard line but had to settle for a 25-yard Cairo Santos field goal to give Kansas City their first lead of the night.

But the Raiders responded with their biggest drive of the season. Carr converted a fourth-and-1 with a quarterback sneak and a pass interference call against Ron Parker helped keep the drive alive before the touchdown pass to Jones with 1:42 left to play.

Smith’s fourth down pass to Frankie Hammond fell incomplete to give the Raiders their first victory in 368 days.

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Adrian Peterson thinks “maybe it’s time for me to get a fresh start somewhere else”

Peterson Reuters

If running back Adrian Peterson had been able to return to the Vikings this year, he would have had an opportunity to determine whether he and his family would be able to stay in Minnesota for the rest of his career in light of the events that derailed Peterson’s 2014 season.  As it stands, he won’t have a chance to test the waters — which may result in Peterson seeking an opportunity to play somewhere else in 2015.

Peterson tells Tom Pelissero of USA Today that he would return to the Vikings if the appeal of his suspension results in a reinstatement between now and the end of the regular season, and that Peterson has given extensive thought to the possibility that “maybe it’s best for me to get a fresh start somewhere else.”

Time is working against Peterson and the Vikings having a reunion in 2014.  With five weeks and three days remaining until the end of the regular season, Peterson faces an uphill climb to secure a successful appeal and play in Minnesota this year.

“I would love to go back and play in Minnesota to get a feel and just see if my family still feels comfortable there,” Peterson said.  “But if there’s word out that hey, they might release me, then so be it.  I would feel good knowing that I’ve given everything I had in me.”

There’s actually no “word out” that the Vikings might release Peterson.  The Vikings have been adamant about their belief that Peterson is a Viking.  If anything, the Vikings would want to trade Peterson in lieu of letting him walk away.

Ultimately, the Vikings control the outcome because they control Peterson’s rights.  If the Vikings refuse to allow let him go, he’ll have to decide whether to play for the Vikings or no one.

At a compensation package of $13 million in 2015, it’s hard to imagine Peterson walking away.  But that may not keep Peterson from trying to force his way out.  He expressed a general, vague belief to Pelissero that the support for Peterson in the organization is not unanimous.

“I would have to get back in the community and get a feel,” Peterson said.  “I know who loves me. The coaches and the players, it’s not going to be a problem. I’ve felt so much support from those guys.  The organization, I know there’s people in the organization that support me and there’s people that I know internally that has not been supporting me.”

Peterson did not identify any persons with the team who he believes are not supporting him.

The interview, Peterson’s first since being indicted on felony child abuse charges in September, contains extensive comments from Peterson regarding his resolve not to use a switch when disciplining his children, his reasons for not attending the hearing/meeting at the league office last Friday, and his desire to meet with Commissioner Roger Goodell.

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Chiefs mount rally to take lead in fourth quarter against Raiders

Kansas City Chiefs v Oakland Raiders Getty Images

After holding a halftime lead for the first time in nearly a full calendar year, the Oakland Raiders have begun to show why they haven’t won a game since Nov. 17 of last year.

The Kansas City Chiefs have outscored the Raiders 17-0 since the latter stages of the third quarter to take a 20-17 lead early in the fourth.

Alex Smith connected with Anthony Fasano for a 19-yard touchdown pass on a blown coverage by the Raiders for Kansas City’s first touchdown of the night.

The Chiefs scored again on their following possession as Smith dumped a pass across the middle to Jamaal Charles, who sliced through the Raiders Defense for a 30-yard touchdown to tie the game at 17-17 with 12:20 left to play. After a Raiders three-and-out, the Chiefs moved inside the Raiders 10-yard line but had to settle for a 25-yard Cairo Santos field goal to give Kansas City their first lead of the night.


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Charles Woodson becomes first player in NFL history with 50 interceptions and 20 sacks

Kansas City Chiefs v Oakland Raiders Getty Images

When Charles Woodson ultimately elects to walk away from the NFL, it will be a short wait for him to be elected in the Hall of Fame.

And Woodson added another line to his resume Thursday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Woodson sacked Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in the third quarter. In doing so, Woodson becomes the first player in NFL history to record 50 interceptions and 20 sacks in a career, per Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Woodson now has 58 interceptions and 20 sacks in his prestigious 17-year career with the Raiders and Green Bay Packers.

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Week 12 skill-position injury report — Thursday

Emmanuel Sanders AP

The following skill-position players were listed on Thursday’s injury report. Key fantasy starters are bolded. Information is furnished by the NFL and clubs.

The final injury report for Sunday’s games will be released on Friday, with the final Monday injury reports posted Saturday.

Byes: Steelers, Panthers.


Bears WR Chris Williams (hamstring).

Broncos RB Montee Ball (foot).

Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (foot).

Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle).

Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion).

Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion).

Browns WR Marlon Moore (hamstring).

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee).

Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle).

Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee).

Eagles QB Nick Foles (collarbone). — OUT

Falcons RB Steven Jackson (illness).

Falcons WR Julio Jones (illness).

49ers WR Bruce Ellington (ankle).

Rams TE Cory Harkey (quadriceps).

Rams WR Damian Williams (hamstring).

Ravens TE Owen Daniels (not injury related).

Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh).

Saints RB Khiry Robinson (forearm).

Saints RB Travaris Cadet (hamstring).

Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (back).

Texans RB Arian Foster (groin).

Vikings RB Matt Asiata (concussion).

Vikings TE Brandon Bostick (hip).

Vikings WR Greg Jennings (rib).

Washington TE Jordan Reed (hamstring).


Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (hamstring).

Bears WR Brandon Marshall (ankle).

Bengals RB Cedric Peerman (hip).

Bills K Dan Carpenter (right groin).

Bills QB Kyle Orton (toe).

Bills RB Fred Jackson (groin).

Broncos TE Virgil Green (calf).

Browns WR Josh Gordon (not injury related).

Buccaneers RB Charles Sims (ankle).

Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle).

Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (hip, foot).

Cardinals RB Robert Hughes (hamstring).

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (left shoulder).

Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (shoulder).

Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry (shoulder).

Dolphins WR Mike Wallace (calf).

Falcons WR Harry Douglas (foot).

49ers TE Vance McDonald (hip).

Lions RB Joique Bell (ankle).

Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle).

Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew (foot).

Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle).

Patriots WR Julian Edelman (thigh).

Rams TE Jared Cook (back).

Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder).

Saints WR Robert Meachem (ankle).

Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back).

Vikings WR Jarius Wright (hamstring).


Bears WR Josh Morgan (shoulder).

Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip).

Bills RB Frank Summers (neck).

Bills WR Chris Hogan (hip).

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin (ankle).

Bills WR Sammy Watkins (groin).

Broncos RB Juwan Thompson (knee).

Chargers QB Philip Rivers (chest).

Colts RB Trent Richardson (illness).

Colts WR Reggie Wayne (not injury related).

Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back).

Eagles WR Jeff Maehl (foot).

Eagles WR Jordan Matthews (knee).

Falcons WR Devin Hester (wrist).

49ers WR Brandon Lloyd (quadriceps).

Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (left wrist).

Jaguars WR Mike Brown (not injury related).

Jets QB Geno Smith (right shoulder).

Jets RB Chris Ivory (shoulder).

Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee).

Jets WR Greg Salas (wrist).

Jets WR T.J. Graham (neck).

Patriots QB Tom Brady (ankle).

Saints RB Mark Ingram (shoulder).

Texans QB Ryan Mallett (chest).

Texans RB Jonathan Grimes (ankle).

Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion).

Titans WR Justin Hunter (knee).

Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (abdomen, groin).

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Junior Hemingway undergoes concussion evaluation, ruled out

Kansas City Chiefs v Oakland Raiders Getty Images

Already thinned by injury entering Thursday night’s game at Oakland, the Chiefs’ receiving corps is down another member.

Wide receiver Junior Hemingway has been checked for a concussion, the Chiefs announced on Twitter. He has been declared out of the contest, as has reserve offensive tackle Donald Stephenson, the club said.

With Hemingway out, the Chiefs are down to just four wide receivers: Dwayne Bowe, Frankie Hammond, Albert Wilson and De’Anthony Thomas. (A rookie from Oregon, Thomas is listed as a running back on the Chiefs’ roster but as a wide receiver and tailback on the club’s offensive depth chart.)

The Chiefs were already without two receivers entering Thursday night, with A.J. Jenkins and Donnie Avery both ruled out with injuries.

The Chiefs trail 14-3 early in the third quarter.

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Latavius Murray exits with possible concussion, ruled out

Murray Getty Images

On Thursday night, Raiders running back Latavius Murray joined Bo Jackson and Terrelle Pryor as the only players in franchise history with 90-yard runs.  With 112 yards on only four carries, Murray has exited the game with a possible concussion.

Murray took a helmet to the jaw from a Chiefs defender in the second quarter of Thursday night’s game.  It was a legal hit.

After sitting on the bench for a bit, Murray left for the locker room to be fully evaluated.

Murray had 10 yards for 54 yards in the first 10 games of the season.  The Raiders lead, 14-3.

UPDATE 10:15 p.m. ET: Murray has officially been ruled out for the remainder of the game due to a concussion.

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Jets-Bills game will be on CBS locally, no word on national TV

Michael Vick AP

With this week’s Jets-Bills game moving from Sunday in Buffalo to Monday in Detroit, one question has not been answered: How can Jets and Bills fans outside New York City and Buffalo watch the game?

The NFL has announced that the local CBS affiliates in New York and Buffalo will televise the game, but the NFL has not said whether there will be any way for fans in the rest of the country to see it.

The league is in an awkward situation because this affects three of its television partners: CBS, ESPN and DirecTV. CBS would surely love to be able to show Jets-Bills to a wider audience than just the two local affiliates, but ESPN would cry foul because that could siphon fans away from the regularly scheduled Saints-Ravens game on ESPN Monday night. DirecTV could also make Jets-Bills available to Sunday Ticket subscribers, but that could also siphon viewers away from Monday Night Football. ESPN would love to be able to show the Jets-Bills game on ESPN2 while Saints-Ravens is on ESPN, but CBS would cry foul because that’s taking a game from CBS and giving it to a competitor.

The fairest solution for fans would be to make the game available to DirecTV Sunday Ticket subscribers: If you pay for NFL Sunday Ticket, you’re paying for every game. If you’re a Jets or Bills fan who lives outside New York or Buffalo and you purchased Sunday Ticket specifically to watch your team, you’re getting a raw deal if that game isn’t available on the Sunday Ticket package.

In 2010, when the NFL had to move a Giants-Vikings game to Detroit because snow damaged the Metrodome, that game was available to the local affiliates and on Sunday Ticket.

At the moment the only thing we know is that viewers in New York and Buffalo can watch the game on CBS. The NFL is expected to announce on Friday whether viewers anywhere else can see the game.

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Bills will host Jets on Monday at Ford Field

Lions Getty Images

For the second time since December 2010, a snowstorm has resulted in Ford Field hosting two teams who don’t play in Detroit.

Per multiple reports, and as widely expected, the Jets and Bills will play there on Monday night at 7:00 p.m. ET.

When Ford Field staged the Giants-Vikings game after the roof of the Metrodome collapsed, tickets were free.  Presumably, they’ll be free this time, too.

Also, the Giants-Vikings game was televised regionally by FOX and available via the DirecTV Sunday Ticket package.  Jets-Bills presumably will be televised regionally by CBS, with Ravens-Saints on ESPN shown nationally.

The Lions host the Bears at Ford Field on Thursday.

Darren Rovell of reports that Bills season-ticket holders will receive credit for the game toward their 2015 season tickets.  (Hello, interest-free loan.)  Customers who purchased seats for the Jets game only will receive a full refund to their credit cards.  (Hello, possibly free money if folks who purchased the tickets on the secondary market fail to turn in the tickets.)

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Bills hope to get to game site on Friday

Bills AP

The NFL possibly will announce a new location for the Jets-Bills game as early as Thursday night.  The Bills hope by Friday to be able to travel from Buffalo to the place where the game will be played.

“It would be optimal to fly out and practice at the potential location if we can,” Brandon told reporters on Thursday, via the team’s official website.  “We’re not in a situation where we could hold practice here at this time. The Fieldhouse and the lots and everyone who is here working we’re sort of buried in here.  It would be very difficult to practice here.

“We’d like to get to the airport which is in a much better situation in the Northtowns and try to get to that location if possible.  But again we’ve got so many different scenarios in play right now that we’re just trying to be nimble and work through whatever is presented to us.”

The challenge primarily arises from the fact that portions of the Buffalo area remain squarely buried under seven feet of snow.

“Logistics are very difficult,” Brandon said.  “We’re trying to target all our guys that are in very difficult situations.  Some of our guys have been in apartment complexes where there is no plowing and it’s very difficult to get out.  We’re trying to assess each player and the difficulty in getting to the facility and the airport.  Not an easy task.  Hopefully we can get out sometime [Friday].  It may not be feasibly possible.  It’s an ever changing and evolving process.”

The game between the Jets and Bills likely will be played in Detroit, possibly on Monday night.  The extra day would help the Bills be better prepared.

“We played a Thursday night game,” Brandon said. “We had very little time in the building on Friday. The players were off on Saturday and Sunday and had a light work day on Monday. Tuesday was their normal off day and then not being able to practice on Wednesday or Thursday there certainly is a disadvantage.”

The advantage comes from playing the 2-8 Jets.  Earlier this month, the Bills hammered the Jets at MetLife Stadium.

UPDATE 8:56 p.m. ET:  Per multiple reports, the game will indeed be played at Ford Field in Detroit.

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Could tonight be the night? Raiders take early lead

raiderfan AP

The Oakland Raiders haven’t won a game in more than a year. Could tonight be the night?

It can be if the Raiders can play for 60 minutes like they did for the first 10.

Oakland jumped out to an early 7-0 lead over Kansas City thanks to an 11-yard touchdown run by Latavius Murray that came at the end of an eight-play, 60-yard drive. It was the first rushing touchdown the Chiefs’ defense has allowed all season.

The Chiefs’ offense went three-and-out on each of their first two possessions. This doesn’t look like it’s going to be an easy night for the Chiefs.

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Gabe Jackson among Oakland’s inactives

Oakland Raiders v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

As expected, the Raiders will be without their starting left guard on Thursday night vs. Kansas City.

Rookie Gabe Jackson (knee) is among the seven inactives announced by the Raiders for Week 12. Head coach Tony Sparano had indicated Jackson, who is missing his third straight game, would be held out on Thursday night.

With Jackson sidelined, veteran Khalif Barnes would seem likely to get another start at left guard.

Also inactive for the Raiders are tight end David Ausberry (foot), offensive guard Tony Bergstrom, cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle), safety Jonathan Dowling (back), quarterback Matt McGloin and cornerback Carlos Rogers (knee). Ausberry, Carrie, Dowling and Rogers had been ruled out.

The other players listed on the Raiders’ injury report — quarterback Derek Carr and middle linebacker Miles Burris — are active for Oakland (0-10).

The Chiefs’ inactives are wide receiver Donnie Avery (groin), offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, cornerback Jamell Fleming (hamstring), wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (shoulder), center Eric Kush, quarterback Aaron Murray and cornerback Chris Owens (knee). Avery, Jenkins and Owens had been declared from the game on Wednesday, while Fleming was questionable.

Every other player on the Chiefs’ injury report is active, including tight end Anthony Fasano, who was questionable.

The Chiefs (7-3) will move into first place in the AFC West with a victory on Thursday night.

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Titans to wear white jerseys for rest of season

Pittsburgh Steelers v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

If you like the Titans’ white uniform tops . . . well, here’s another reason to perhaps tune in as 2-8 Tennessee plays out the string.

The Titans will wear their white jerseys for their final six regular season games, Jim Wyatt of the Nashville Tennessean reported on Thursday. Paul Lukas of reported Wednesday that the Titans would go with the white shirts the rest of the way.

The Titans are also planning to declare their navy uniforms as their “primary” jerseys in 2015, according to Wyatt. Via Lukas, Paul Kuharsky of has also noted the team will be making the navy jerseys one of their regular uniforms next season.

The Titans have largely had the same uniforms since 1999. They wore blue in Super Bowl XXXIV.

And finally, since we’re on the subject of uniforms — the Oilers, now they had outstanding white uniform tops.

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