The Miami Dolphins have been cautious with the handling of their equipment when playing the New England Patriots since the Deflategate scandal, and even brought extra equipment staffers to Foxboro for their last meeting, reports the Miami Herald.
Miami lost the Week 8 matchup with the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, 36–7, but are preparing to host New England for a rematch in their series finale.
The Dolphins brought the additional personnel with them in October to ensure that no Patriots staff members would have reason to touch or tamper with their equipment before the game, sources told the Miami Herald.
Patriots assistant equipment manager John Jastremski and locker room attendant Jim McNally were implicated in Deflategate for allegedly aiding in deflating game balls before the 2015 AFC championship game.
The Dolphins have a history of being suspicious of the Patriots, as their current vice president of football operations, Mike Tannebaum, was the general manger of the New York Jets when they accused the Patriots of stealing signals in 2007’s Spygate.
The NFL also reportedly searched the visitors locker room at Gillette for bugs ahead of the Patriots’ Week 7 game against the Jets this season—a week before the Dolphins played New England—though New York reportedly did not request the search.
The Dolphins (5–10) and the Patriots (12–3) kick off at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.
- Erin Flynn