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Seahawks’ C.J. Prosise out vs. Falcons

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 13: C.J. Prosise #22 of the Seattle Seahawks carries the ball during the third quarter of a game against the New England Patriots during a game at Gillette Stadium on November 13, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Seahawks won’t have running back C.J. Prosise on the field in Atlanta today.

Prosise has been ruled out with a shoulder injury, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.

As a rookie this season, Prosise played well in limited action, with 30 carries for 172 yards and 17 catches for 208 yards. But even if healthy he likely wouldn’t have played a huge role in the Seahawks’ offense today, as Thomas Rawls, who had 161 yards last week against the Lions, will get the bulk of the carries.

If the Seahawks win today, Prosise is expected to be available for the NFC Championship Game in eight days.

The Seahawks’ other inactives are WR Kasen Williams, RB Terrence Magee, LB Ronald Powell, OT Bradley Sowell, TE Nick Vannett and DT John Jenkins.

The Falcons’ inactives are WR Nick Williams, RB Terron Ward, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, S Dashon Goldson, LB Josh Keyes, G Wes Schweitzer and TE D.J.Tialavea.

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Packers CB Damarious Randall added to injury report for Cowboys game

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Allen Robinson #15 of the Jacksonville Jaguars attempts to catch a pass in front of Green Bay Packers Damarious Randall #23 during a game at EverBank Field on September 11, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Packers have been patching together a secondary all season, and they have another problem to deal with in advance of tomorrow’s Divisional Round game with the Cowboys.

The team announced that cornerback Damarious Randall had been added to the injury report with a foot injury, and will be listed as questionable.

Randall has struggled with injuries all season, and was questionable last week with a knee injury.

With Quentin Rollins out with a concussion, they’re again short-handed at corner, as they have been all year with Sam Shields on injured reserve, along with Demetri Goodson and Makinton Dorleant. That’s probably going to push safety Micah Hyde into a more prominent role in the slot.

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Who else has Jim Irsay called?

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The news that Colts owner Jim Irsay made a run at Jon Gruden coupled with the fact that Irsay still hasn’t publicly confirmed that coach Chuck Pagano and G.M. Ryan Grigson will be back in 2017 invites plenty of speculation.

The most obvious bit of speculation is this: Who else has Irsay called?

From our January 3 item regarding Irsay’s silence: “Whether it’s Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh, Jon Gruden, Sean Payton, or even Peyton Manning, Irsay could indeed be in the process of finding out whether he can knock it out of the park before he officially picks up the bat.” Indeed, Irsay was.

So who else beyond Gruden got a phone call? One league tells PFT that Irsay hasn’t made a run at Saban (yet).  As to the others on our spitball list, and as to anyone not on it, whom did Irsay try to hire? Who is he still trying to hire?

Now that the cat is out of the bag regarding Gruden, how many other cats are still inside? The longer Irsay goes without speaking or tweeting that Pagano and Grigson will be back, the more the speculation will increase.

Given that Irsay apparently has yet to find anyone who’ll take the job, the next question becomes whether he’ll try to get Texans coach Bill O’Brien. Sure, the Texans would want draft picks before letting O’Brien stay in the division. Given what the Colts have done with most of their draft picks since landing Andrew Luck, they could do as lot worse than give up a first-rounder or more for O’Brien.

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Chargers admit mistake, ditch initial L.A. logo

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Not long after the Chargers announced their move to Los Angeles, they unveiled a new logo. It didn’t go well.

To their credit, the Chargers heard the criticism, they agreed with it, and they have taken action. The much-criticized L.A. logo, which appeared to be based on the Dodgers’ logo, is gone.

“The logo that was revealed on Thursday was meant to help launch our brand into the market and supplement — not replace — our official team marks,” Chargers president of business operations A.G. Spanos said in a statement provided to PFT. “Clearly, we miscalculated how the logo would be received, and we’ve taken it out of the rotation.”

A.G. Spanos emphasized that this is the identity of the team. “If we make a mistake, we own it, learn from it, and move on without looking back,” he said.

Spanos said that the team may “take another shot” at an L.A. logo “down the road,” and that the franchise is considering ways to involve the community’s voice in the process.

“If the ultimate outcome of this episode is something really special that L.A. fans help create and truly love, that’s a win,” Spanos said.

Plenty of other businesses would have doubled down in the face of the criticism, stubbornly adhering to an approach that had already become a punch line by refusing to look beyond an echo chamber that regards any opinion different from theirs as wrong. The Chargers have, during a hectic and challenging week, found a way to engage in an objective assessment of a bad decision and to reverse it.

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Aaron Rodgers consulted an astronaut on the physics of a Hail Mary

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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has become the master of the Hail Mary, taking what is usually thought of as a once-in-a-lifetime play and doing it three times for long touchdowns in the last 14 months. He owes that success in part to a meeting on a celebrity edition of Jeopardy.

Rodgers won on Jeopardy in 2015, beating retired astronaut Mark Kelly as well as Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank. Rodgers and Kelly became friends after that, and Rodgers has consulted Kelly on the physics of football, picking Kelly’s brain about the trajectory of thrown footballs and how a pass can be affected by factors such as wind and temperature.

Kelly told Sports Illustrated that they’ve talked about Hail Mary passes and throwing a football at the correct angle so that the ball will land in the end zone after staying in the air long enough for the Packers’ receivers to position themselves under it.

“Timing is everything and fortunately it is so cold in Green Bay there isn’t significant re-entry heating,” Kelly said. “I’m kidding, of course.”

A little astronaut humor for you.

Of course, knowledge of physics is less important than the ability to throw the ball high and far. But Rodgers has always had that ability. In the last two seasons, he’s been able to refine his Hail Mary passes after giving some more thought to how they travel through the air. He thanks his friendship with Kelly for that.

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ESPN did Gruden no favors with Colts report

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 30:  John Gruden, head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the sideline in the first half of their game against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium on December 30, 2007 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

The report that Colts owner Jim Irsay did indeed make a run at former Raiders and Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden is fascinating, on many levels.

In order to fulfill my daily posting quota (and in recognition of your, and my, limited attention span), I’ll take them one at a time. Now, what was I talking about?

The ESPN report from Adam Schefter that Irsay did indeed reach out to Gruden does Gruden no favors. While, on the surface, it perpetuates the notion that he continues to be on the “A” list (even if most teams would say he isn’t), Gruden was forced to deny it on the record, sort of.

He said “I know nothing,” which could mean, “Irsay called my agent but my agent has standing orders to tell anyone and everyone I’m not interested — unless the call from one of the few teams I’d want to work for.” Regardless, the end result is a new frontier of ESPN-on-ESPN crime, beyond two reporters reporting both sides of a story or Trent Dilfer suggesting that Schefter is a mouthpiece of the Patriots.

It also creates the impression that Gruden and/or his agent can’t be trusted to keep his mouth shut, since others will assume that Gruden or his agent were Schefter’s source. And that could make other teams less inclined to kick the tires on Gruden under circumstances where, for example, it’s important to avoid further undermining the current head coach who has yet to be fired.

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Report: Jim Irsay did reach out to Jon Gruden, who said no

New Orleans Saints v Oakland Raiders Getty Images

Colts coach Chuck Pagano was reportedly given assurances that he’d keep his job.

His boss either forgot about those assurances, or it was never as sure as Pagano might have wanted us to believe.

Confirming some previous reports from others, Adam Schefter of ESPN says that Colts owner Jim Irsay did in fact reach out to Schefter’s ESPN co-worker Jon Gruden, who said no.

Gruden denied talking to Irsay, saying: “I know nothing. I’ve told people, I’m not coaching. I’m a broadcaster, I’m not a coach.”

That’s a long way from “there was no contact between Irsay and anyone associated with me,” and a long way from a vote of confidence for Pagano.

Despite having one of the best young quarterbacks in the game, the Colts have posted uninspiring 8-8 records the last two years. They had a run of three straight 11-5 seasons prior to that, but they lack the sizzle Irsay seemingly craves.

So while Gruden’s denial means Irsay can claim it was never a job offer, it’s clear that the silence over the future of the Colts coach was intentional.

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Tom Brady adding to long list of postseason records

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When the Patriots face the Texans tonight, Tom Brady will break a record of his own just by stepping on the field, and then he’ll break more of his own records as the game goes on.

Brady will be playing in the 32nd postseason game of his career, which is the most in NFL history. He’s the first player ever to play the equivalent of two full seasons in the postseason. Here are all the career postseason records Brady owns:

Games played: Brady set the record of 31 last year, surpassing his old teammate Adam Vinatieri, who has played in 30 career postseason games. Tonight will be Brady’s 32nd career postseason game. Brady’s Patriots are 22-9 in the games he’s started; no other quarterback has been on the winning team more than 16 times.

Pass attempts: Brady has thrown 1,183 passes in the postseason, 156 more than second-place Peyton Manning. Brady will keep adding to that record tonight, and it’s a record no one will approach for many years, if ever: Ben Roethlisberger, with 540 career postseason passes, is second among active players, and he’s not even halfway to Brady’s total.

Pass completions: Brady owns the record with 738 postseason completions, 89 more than Peyton Manning. Again, no active player is close: Roethlisberger is second among active players with 334.

Yards gained: Brady has 7,957, which is 618 more than Peyton Manning. Roethlisberger is the active leader with 4,249.

300-yard games: Brady has 10 games of at least 300 yards passing, one more than Peyton Manning. Brady has thrown for at least 300 yards in each of his last three postseason games, and if he does it again tonight he’ll have four in a row, which would tie Dan Fouts for the most consecutive 300-yard postseason games.

Touchdown passes: Brady has 56 career postseason touchdown passes, 11 more than second-place Joe Montana. Aaron Rodgers is second among active players with 31.

Brady also owns the single-game postseason completion percentage at 92.9 percent, going 26-for-28 in a 2007 game against the Jaguars. And he co-owns the single-game postseason touchdown record, with six touchdowns in a win over the Broncos in 2011.

However, Brady also has to worry about setting one record he’d prefer not to set: Brady has thrown 28 career postseason interceptions, just two fewer than the all-time record holder, Brett Favre. When you play in as many postseason games as Brady has, you’re bound to throw a few picks. If he throws a few more, he’ll have one dubious record to go with all his extraordinary records.

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McVay: Rams will be “built on character”

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - JANUARY 13:  (L-R)Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff, head coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead of the Los Angeles Rams stand for a photo after announcing today in a press conference the hiring of new head coach Sean McVay on January 13, 2017 in Thousand Oaks, California. McVay is the youngest head coach in NFL history.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Jeff Fisher Rams periodically drew criticism for chippy play that often crossed the line. The Sean McVay Rams apparently won’t be that way,

“[W]e’re going to be a team that’s built on character,” McVay told reporters on Friday. “We feel that true leadership is about building and developing relationships that are going to help us create a unified vision that’s sustainable over time.  Our character will be the foundation and it will be the glue that holds us together as an organization. We’re going to be committed to our process and we’re going to be committed to a standard of performance. And those things are going to be focused on – daily improvement and daily excellence. That’s what’s going to help guide us on our journey to try to achieve a world championship and bring it to this great City of Los Angeles. . . . .

“[W]hat does a Ram look like, what do we want our tape to look like? A Ram, for us, they’re going to be mentally and physically tough players that are smart and love to compete. And our tape is our resume and we know that. But, in order to be able to put out that product that our fans deserve, that we want to see that’s going to give us a chance to compete and win games week-in and week-out, we’ve got to be committed to that process and that standard of performance. And that’s something that we will be doing.”

Those comments imply plenty about the status of the Rams organization before McVay’s arrival. These comments do even more of the same.

“[W]e know that before we can become a consistent winner, we have to act like winners – and that starts with implementing a culture,” McCoy said. “So we want to set a culture, maintain a culture and then that’s going to allow us to achieve that sustained success. The similarities in what we believed we needed to implement in this organization — creating a culture of we, not me — are the things that really excited me about the opportunity to work with [COO] Kevin [Demoff] and [G.M.] Les [Snead].”

Those comments imply that the culture previously was one of me, not we, and that the players aren’t acting like winners or otherwise demonstrating character. Which surely had to make things a little awkward for Snead, since he had a direct and significant role in creating the culture that McVay is determined to change.

Snead’s presence at the press conference in front-and-center capacity, including having a hand on the jersey with McVay’s name on it for the photo op, would tend to suggest that Snead’s status may not be as tenuous as previously believed. McVay’s comments, however, subtly but clearly suggest that the person who set the table for Fisher may not be setting the table for McVay.

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Bo Jackson was determined to “screw” the Buccaneers

AUBURN - OCTOBER 16:  Former Auburn Tigers football player Bo Jackson watches the action on the sideline during the game between the Auburn Tigers and the Arkansas Razorbacks Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  The Tigers beat the Razorbacks 65-43.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) Getty Images

Former Heisman winner and two-sport star Bo Jackson raised some eyebrows when he said if he had to do it over again, he wouldn’t play football.

But it was his first decision to not play football which showed his resolve as a man.

In a story by Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Jackson discussed his decision to boycott the Buccaneers, after they used the first pick in the 1986 NFL Draft on him. He was upset because he thought they tried to trick him into giving up baseball, by flying him to Tampa for a physical and allegedly reporting it as an NCAA infraction, for which he was deemed ineligible for his senior season at Auburn.

So he warned the then-Buccaneers owner (the late Hugh Culverhouse) up front he was never going to Tampa, and to not waste a pick on him.

“Their people said they were looking out for me, and checked with the NCAA that it was OK for me to go on their plane for that physical,’’ Jackson said, “but nobody checked it out. Well, I put two and two together, and figured it out. They knew I was a first-round pick in football, but they wanted to get me away from baseball, so they got me ruled ineligible. I’m 100 percent convinced of that. They thought that would make me forget baseball.

“I told myself, ‘All right, if you screw me, I’m going to screw you twice as hard.’ If anybody else had drafted me, I would have gone, but I wasn’t going to play for that man.

“People thought I was crazy, but it was just morals. If you screw me over like that, and I’m not part of a team yet, just think what they’d do to me under contract. I couldn’t do that. I needed the money. I was as poor as a Mississippi outhouse. I needed that money. But I couldn’t play for that man.”

Jackson also had problems with Culverhouse (an Alabama graduate) at a personal level.

“I also observed the way they were treating people,” he said. “The fact the owners kept calling the players, ‘These are my boys.’ Their wives were doing the same thing. I couldn’t go there. I always believed that if you don’t believe in yourself, and stand for what you believe is right, who else is going to have faith in you?’’

Jackson’s willingness to sit was admirable, and sent him to another year of exclusively baseball, most of which was spent in the minors for the Royals.

The next year, the Raiders took a seventh-round flyer on him, and it paid off handsomely for them. But even though he became a major star in two sports and a worldwide marketing machine, Jackson was willing to stand on principle, and followed through by never playing for the Bucs.

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Raiders to file for Las Vegas move

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 24:  Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis stands on the field prior to their NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on December 24, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Getty Images

One of the strangest weeks in league history also wasn’t very surprising.

With no viable stadium plans in their current towns, the Chargers and Raiders have each taken the available steps to move. For one franchise, it was automatic; for the other, most boxes need to be checked.

As widely expected over the course of the past several months, NFL Media has reported (i.e., the NFL has announced) that the Raiders will file a request for relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas. If 23 of the 31 other franchises approve of the move, the Las Vegas Raiders eventually will be born.

According to the Bay Area News Group, Sands casino owner Sheldon Adelson still may not be involved in the birth. Goldman Sachs will bridge the gap between team, league, and taxpayer commitment and the expected cost of a $1.9 billion stadium in Las Vegas, if a deal can’t be struck with Adelson, who has been driving a hard bargain with Raiders owner Mark Davis for weeks.

Last year, lawmakers in Nevada approved $750 million for the project. The enormous contribution of public money will make it difficult if not impossible for the league to embrace a city that, for decades, it had shunned.

The requirement of 24 votes to approve the move means that only nine teams can come together and kill it. There’s currently no momentum among the owners, however, to build a coalition large enough to block the move — especially since any effort to do so could spark another round of antitrust litigation with the team that successfully won a legal battle when the league tried to block its move to Los Angeles more than 30 years ago.

As some have suggested, the move to Las Vegas could reinforce the status of the Raiders as the most popular team in Los Angeles, even though the Rams and Chargers are both headquartered there.

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NFL will have at least eight minority head coaches in 2017

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 23:  Head Coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals and Head Coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns shake hands after the completion of the game at Paul Brown Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Cleveland 31-17. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL, which has long strived for more diversity among its coaching ranks, will have as many minority coaches as it’s ever had in the 2017 season.

With eight minority head coaches — the Chargers’ Anthony Lynn, Denver’s Vance Joseph, Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin, Detroit’s Jim Caldwell, Cleveland’s Hue Jackson, the Jets’ Todd Bowles and Carolina’s Ron Rivera — the league has the most minority coaches it has had at the start of any season. There were also eight minorities coaching NFL teams in 2011.

The 49ers still have an opening, so it’s possible a ninth minority head coach could be hired. That seems unlikely, however, as the only minorities the 49ers interviewed — Lynn and Joseph — have already been hired elsewhere.

The NFL had six minority head coaches last season.

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Patriots’ Malcolm Mitchell out vs. Texans

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Benardrick McKinney #55 of the Houston Texans attempts to tackle Malcolm Mitchell #19 of the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Patriots will not be at full strength at wide receiver tonight against the Texans.

New England receiver Malcolm Mitchell has been ruled out, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Mitchell is officially listed as questionable with a knee injury.

Mitchell had 32 catches for 401 yards and four touchdowns in the regular season. He came on strong late in the season, playing his best football in November and December before suffering the knee injury in Week 16.

A rookie fourth-round draft pick, Mitchell was affected by knee injuries in college at Georgia as well.

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Chargers name Anthony Lynn head coach

25 Oct 1998: Anthony Lynn #37 of the Denver Broncos waits on the field during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Jaguars 37-24. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn  /Allsport Getty Images

The Chargers officially have a new home. And, officially, a new coach.

The latest arrival in Los Angeles has named Anthony Lynn the successor to Mike McCoy, and also the 16th coach in franchise history.

“One thing that’s very clear about Anthony Lynn is he’s a leader,” Chargers president of football operations John Spanos said in a press release. “He’s a natural-born leader. As you can tell, I am very excited about the leadership qualities he’s going to bring to our team. He is really going to communicate and connect with our players. He’s had a number of great coaching influences in his life and as a former player who won two Super Bowls, Anthony knows first-hand what championship pedigree is all about. We couldn’t be more excited to have him lead our franchise into this exciting new era of Chargers football.”

Lynn previously served as interim coach and offensive coordinator of the Bills. He returns to the AFC West, where he played as a member of the Broncos, winning championships in 1997 and 1998. He also spent the first three years of his coaching career in Denver.

“I’m having a hard time even putting into words how excited I am to be the new head coach for the Los Angeles Chargers,” Lynn said. “This is really a dream come true. I want all of our fans to know that we’re going to start by putting together a great staff and we’re going to put together a team with the heart and will of a champion. I know there’s a lot of work to be done and I’m going to give everything I have to the Chargers, the Spanos family, and the City of Los Angeles.”

Some had pegged Lynn as the next coach of the Bills, but the Bills opted for Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. The hiring of Lynn makes him the fifth hire in this cycle; one vacancy remains, for now, in San Francisco.

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Bill O’Brien: “Whatever the future holds, it holds”

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 22:  Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans waits on the sidelines in the first half of their game against the Denver Broncos at  NRG Stadium on August 22, 2015 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

Nearly two weeks ago, rumors and reports first emerged suggesting that Bill O’Brien may not be the coach of the Texans for much longer. Texans owner Bob McNair has denied that O’Brien will be fired, but that has done little to end the chatter.

Comments from O’Brien to Mike Silver of NFL Media will do even less to end the chatter.

“I got home the other night and my wife asks me, ‘Where are we living next year?’ ” O’Brien said Monday, two days after McNair said O’Brien won’t be fired. “Look, things are out there, and you can’t control everything that’s out there. I signed a five-year contract when I came here. I’ve enjoyed coaching here. We like living here. So at the end of the day, the Houston Texans are a place that we enjoy working. Whatever the future holds, it holds, but like I said, I have two years left on my contract, so we’ll see what happens.”

There’s a lingering belief that O’Brien isn’t happy in Houston, and that he wants out. Nothing he said to Silver two days after notching O’Brien’s first career playoff win will change that perception.

If the Texans win at New England, advancing to the AFC title game for the first time in franchise history, it will be difficult for O’Brien and the team to part ways when the season ends. But that didn’t stop Bill Parcells from leaving the Patriots after taking the team to the Super Bowl 20 years ago.

If the Texans lose, all eyes will be on Houston, where the clock immediately will start ticking on a clear and unmistakable mutual renewing of vows for 2017. When half of that equation makes comments that are neither clear nor unmistakable about his desire to stay, it makes even more sense to watch and wait.

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