National Football League officials investigating the New England Patriots' use of under-inflated footballs during the AFC Championship are looking into possible wrongdoing by a locker room attendant who was in possession of game footballs before kickoff, according to a report.
National Football League officials investigating the New England Patriots' use of under-inflated footballs during the AFC Championship Game are looking into possible wrongdoing by a locker room attendant who was in possession of game balls before kickoff, Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reports.
The attendant has allegedly been spotted on video transporting footballs from the official locker room to another location before the balls arrived on the field, according to Glazer.
Later Monday, Pro Football Talk reported that the location the attendant allegedly traveled to is a bathroom, and that the Patriots had submitted a video to the NFL of the attendant in the bathroom for about 90 seconds. The video shows the attendant with two bags, one holding the 12 game balls to be used by the Patriots and the 12 balls to be used by the Indianapolis Colts.
NFL officials have interviewed the individual but are still trying to determine whether the attendant was guilty of any wrongdoing.
Glazer reports that the locker room attendant is being viewed as a "strong person of interest" in the investigation.
The NFL reportedly concluded that 11 of 12 footballs allocated to the Patriots were under-inflated by two pounds of air pressure during the first half of the AFC Championship Game. Both Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have denied involvement in "Deflategate."
The Patriots defeated the Colts 45-7 to seal a spot in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks. The Super Bowl will be played Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
- Stanley Kay