The investigation into whether the Patriots were playing with deflated footballs during the AFC Championship Game was triggered after an interception by Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson in the second quarter, reports Bob Glauber of Newsday.
When Jackson returned to the sideline with the ball, he gave the ball to someone on the Colts equipment staff who noticed that the ball might be underinflated, according to the report. That staff member notified Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, and Colts leadership notified the NFL. The league then made the officials aware of the issue at halftime.
The NFL had no comment on the investigation, but the NFL’s director of officiating, Dean Blandino, said on Monday that “if something is noticed, it’s not unheard of for a ball to be removed from circulation and then tested during the week for whatever issue there was.”
NFL rules stipulate that each team make 12 primary balls available for testing two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff, with the home team providing 12 backup footballs. - Scooby Axson
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