FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — According to multiple media outlets, the New England Patriots are being investigated by the NFL for potentially deflating air out of footballs in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.
It was first reported by WTHR-TV in Indianapolis, which suggested that the Patriots could potentially have draft picks taken away from them if the allegations are true.
According to new reports Tuesday, the issue arose when linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a second quarter pass from Tom Brady.
Jackson then alerted the equipment manger and head coach Chuck Pagano that the ball seemed deflated.
The Colts GM, Ryan Grigson, caught wind and relayed the information to NFL officials.
Deflating footballs would supposedly give an advantage to the quarterback and his receivers, making it easier to both throw and catch the football in cold weather.
Tom Brady spoke with WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan Show Monday morning about the allegations.
“I think I’ve heard it all at this point,” chuckled Brady, “Oh my god, that’s the last of my worries. I don’t even respond to stuff like this.”
Coach Bill Belichick said he was never aware of the issue, but that the team will cooperate in any way possible.
The Patriots are notoriously known for the scandal known as Spygate, in which the NFL disciplined the team for filming St. Louis Rams practices and illegally figuring out their coaching signals right before their first Super Bowl victory Jan. 2002.
They were also accused last week by the Baltimore Ravens of exploiting the rules, trying to confuse the Ravens with strange hurry-up formations involving just four offensive lineman.
The league ultimately found that the Patriots did not violate any rules in their slim-margin victory over the Ravens.
The Patriots are scheduled to play the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 1 in Glendale, Ariz. for the Lombardi Trophy.