It’s either Deflategate 2.0 or just a lot of hot air.
The Daily News has confirmed that the Giants alerted the NFL of under-inflated footballs from their loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh last Sunday, as FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer first reported late Sunday morning.
But the NFL almost immediately released a statement saying there was nothing to the accusation:
“The officiating game ball procedures were followed and there were no chain of command issues,” the NFL statement read, released on Twitter. “All footballs were in compliance and no formal complaint was filed by the Giants with our office.”
Glazer said the Giants became “suspicious” during their 24-14 loss to the Steelers and so, following two takeaways by rookie corner Eli Apple, they tested the PSI of the footballs on the sideline. The balls were inflated below the league-mandated level, and so, the News has confirmed, the Giants sent the footballs to the NFL to make the league aware. The team is awaiting a response.
One interesting note: Apple had both Giants takeaways, a fumble recovery and an interception. He had the ball from his first career NFL interception at his locker during practice this week, though, with the Steelers logo on it. So was that one of the deflated footballs, or a replacement?
This is an especially peculiar situation, considering the close ties between the Rooney and Mara families, the owners of the Steelers and Giants, respectively. A Steelers spokesman told NFL Network that the team has no comment on the report. The Giants told the Daily News the team has no comment, as well.
This is only months removed from the official end of the interminable Deflategate, which resulted in Patriots quarterback Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season due to a crusade by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Brady’s original suspension, in fact, dating back to his alleged infraction in the AFC Championship Game in Jan. 2015 against the Indianapolis Colts, was vacated by a federal judge but reinstated on appeal.
The Giants’ star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and coach Ben McAdoo whined about the officiating, which was admittedly sub-par, after Big Blue’s loss to the Steelers last Sunday, as well.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News