NEW YORK —NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said on Monday that the NFL was investigating whether the Patriots deflated footballs used in their AFC championship game victory over the Colts.
McCarthy said Monday morning he could not provide anymore information at the time. The inquiry was first reported by the website for WTHR-TV in Indiana, citing an unnamed source.
On Thursday, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he didn’t touch or think about the footballs used to get his team into the Super Bowl after he picked out the ones he wanted to throw.
Brady said Thursday that he didn’t know how New England ended up using underinflated balls in its win Sunday against the Colts in the AFC Championship game. Brady says he doesn’t know the protocol for handling game balls after he chooses them a few hours before game time.
Like his coach Bill Belichick said a few hours earlier, Brady said he learned about the issue the morning after the game.
The NFL rule book says “it is the responsibility of the home team to furnish playable balls at all times.”
The game operations manual notes that people who alter footballs or allow an unapproved football to be used in a game can be disciplined with fines or other punishments.
Brady said the issue is one thing the team has to deal with as it prepares to play the Seahawks for the NFL title on Feb. 1.