Kicking balls and air gauges were delivered to Gillette Stadium by police last Saturday after NFL officials forgot the equipment at their hotel before the divisional round playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs, reports ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
The NFL contacted the Hyatt Hotel about the forgotten equipment, and hotel staff contacted Massachusetts State police at around 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday upon NFL security’s request that the equipment be brought to the stadium by police, police spokesperson Davis Procopio said.
The unopened box of balls and gauges was collected by a hotel employee, who accompanied an officer to the stadium to deliver the equipment about an hour before kickoff, Procopio said.
After last year’s Deflategate controversy surrounding allegedly deflated balls used during the AFC Championship Game, the NFL has been increasingly vigilant about who is permitted to handle footballs and air gauges.
The Patriots beat the Chiefs, 27–20, to advance to the AFC Championship. They will face the Denver Broncos at 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday at Sports Authority Field.
- Erin Flynn