Report: NFL planned to inspect Patriots football before D’Qwell Jackson interception
It’s been reported that #DeflateGate got rolling after Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a ball thrown by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and took it to the sideline for inspection by the equipment manager, who noticed that the ball was underinflated and passed the information up the flagpole, prompting the NFL to examine the New England footballs at halftime of the game.
According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, the NFL already had planned to check the footballs at halftime, based on concerns previously raised by the Colts. It’s unclear whether the Colts noticed that the balls were deflated during the November 16 regular-season game between the two teams or whether the Ravens (as Glazer suggested) shared the information with the franchise that used to be in Baltimore. Regardless, the pressure gauges were going to be inserted into the balls regardless of whether Jackson or any other Colts player had gotten his hands on one of the Patriots’ 12 footballs.
Meanwhile, former NFL official Gerry Austin said on ESPN (via Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post) that all 12 of the Colts’ footballs were properly inflated when checked at halftime and that the one out of 12 New England balls that was not two pounds under minimum was still underinflated.
Of course, it’s no surprise that the Indianapolis balls were within acceptable limits. If the Colts had tipped the league off to the issue before the game, it would have been stupid for the Colts to show up with underinflated balls.