The NFL reportedly informed the Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns at this week's owners meetings of "severe" discipline that is expected to be announced next week.
The Falcons have been under investigation for allegedly using fake crowd noise for home games inside the Georgia Dome over the past two seasons. ESPN reported last month the investigation centers specifically on noise being used to distract opposing teams' huddles, with the Falcons' Game Operations Department drawing the investigation's central focus.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank said on Feb. 3 he had learned enough about the NFL's investigation to acknowledge wrongdoing.
"It's not really a fine line," Blank told The Associated Press. "I think what we've done in 2013 and 2014 was wrong. Anything that affects the competitive balance and fairness on the field, we're opposed to, as a league, as a club and as an owner. It's obviously embarrassing but beyond embarrassing it doesn't represent our culture and what we're about."
Punishment for the Falcons could include fines and/or the loss of draft picks.
Also last month, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the Browns and general manager Ray Farmer face punishment for allegedly sending impermissible texts regarding play calls from the press box to the sidelines during a game.
The NFL bans electronic from being used for such communication beginning 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
The Browns could also face fines and/or a loss of draft picks, in addition to a multi-game suspension for Farmer.
- Mike Fiammetta