Wednesday July 15th, 2015

The National Football League Players Association will challenge in federal court if Tom Brady's Deflategate appeal results in a suspension for any number of games, according to a report by ABC's Ryan Smith.

Brady was suspended on May 11 for the first four games of the NFL's regular season as punishment for his role in the scandal. The league started its investigation of the Patriots and Brady after reports surfaced that the Patriots used underinflated footballs during their 45-7 AFC championship game rout over the Colts

Independent investigator Ted Wells determined it was probable that Brady “was at least generally aware of... the release of air from Patriots game balls.” Brady did not fully cooperate with the investigation, failing to make his phone records available to Wells. 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell heard Brady's appeal on June 23, and Goodell reportedly expects to announce his decision this week. Brady, who has maintained his innocence, reportedly testified under oath during the appeal hearing. 

• SI's complete coverage of Deflategate

The Patriots were also docked two draft picks and fined $1 million. Patriots owner Robert Kraft did not appeal the penalty in hopes that it might benefit Brady and his appeal process. 

As it stands, Brady will be eligible to take the field on Oct. 18 against the Colts in Week 6 after the Patriots' bye. He will sit out contests against the SteelersBills, Jaguars and Cowboys.

Brady, who led New England to a Super Bowl XLIX win over Seattle, will be permitted to take part in team activities until the first week of the NFL's regular season, when he will be temporarily replaced under center by Jimmy Garoppolo.

• Brady suspension hasn't changed Patriots' offensive preparation

- Erin Flynn

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