The NFL Was 'Tipped Off' The Patriots Would Use Deflated Balls Before The AFC Title Game

The NFL planned to inspect the game balls used in the AFC Championship Game at halftime after getting a pregame tip that the New England Patriots were using underinflated balls, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reports.

According to Glazer, the Colts were “tipped off” before the game, a 45-7 Patriots victory, possibly by the Baltimore Ravens, and they told the NFL to look into it.

Here’s what Glazer said on Fox Sports 1 on Wednesday night:

The Indianapolis Colts, they were tipped off to this before the game ever even happened. Whether or not it was from the last time they played them …  I was told it was actually from people inside Baltimore. They were tipped off about it. So they informed the league.

Bob Glauber of Newsday reported earlier in the week that the scandal started after Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted Tom Brady early in the second quarter. According to Glauber, a Colts equipment manager noticed that the ball felt deflated, so he told the head coach, who told the general manager, who told a high-ranking NFL official, who told the referees on the field.

But Glazer says the balls would have been inspected at halftime no matter what because the league had heard rumours about this type of thing.

“Here’s the bottom line: The league was already tipped off,” Glazer said. “So they were already planning at halftime to inspect the balls, despite the interception that happened with D’Qwell Jackson.”

Glazer says the balls were found to be deflated at halftime but were reinflated for use in the second half.

The Colts previously played the Patriots on Nov. 16. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Colts had “concerns” about ball inflation during that game and informed the league.

The Ravens played the Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs. While there was a report that a player on the Ravens special teams felt the special “k-balls” that are used for kicking were underinflated, that claim has been thoroughly debunked.

We still don’t know how 11 of the 12 balls the Patriots used on offence got deflated.

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