By Jason Dobkin
DeflateGate was arguably the most annoying NFL story in recent history. The story surrounding Tom Brady and the Patriots dragged for what felt like a decade.
And just when we thought it was all over, it could be back again with a new team. The New York Giants suspect the Pittsburgh Steelers may have deflated footballs in their Week 13 matchup.
Jay Glazer of FOX Sports said the Giants got suspicious and tested two of the balls after the Steelers forced a couple of turnovers. They found them to be deflated, so they sent them into the NFL and are waiting for a response. The Steelers denied doing anything wrong.
This could turn out to be nothing (please, please, please let it be nothing). But if the NFL ends up actually investigating this, one would hope it goes a lot smoother.
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The Antonio Brown Era in New England is over.
Brown, one of the most prolific wide receivers to ever play in the NFL, was released by the Patriots Friday afternoon, just 11 days after signing with the team.
Shortly after his release from the Raiders, which preceded his signing in New England, reports surfaced of sexual assault allegations being levied at Brown. The receiver was facing charges of rape from a former trainer, and it was initially unclear how much the Patriots knew about prior to his signing.
Brown did end up playing in Week 2, his first opportunity with the Patriots, in Miami. He caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown, in addition to rushing the ball once for a five-yard gain.
Late Thursday night, additional reports surfaced of intimidating texts sent by Brown to a woman involved in a separate assault case. Less than a day later, the receiver tweeted a farewell to his now former team.
Minutes later, the Patriots announced they had parted ways with Brown.
The team released the following statement: “The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown. We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.”
The investigation into sexual assault allegations against Brown remains ongoing at this time.
The Redskins will host the Patriots in Week 5 of the 2019 NFL season.
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Jonathan Allen declared himself "100 percent" in for the Redskins Monday night game against the Bears. That's great news, except Allen might not have the final say in the matter.
The Redskins defensive captain and third-year defensive tackle sprained his knee Week 1 in Philadelphia and wanted to return in that game. He didn't, and subsequently, missed Week 2 against Dallas too. Washington head coach Jay Gruden explained that the team has to protect Allen, a fierce competitor, against himself. He doesn't want to miss any action, even if resting his injured knee might be the most prudent course.
Asked what would happen if the medical staff tried to prevent him from playing in Monday's contest, Allen did not really respond but rather shake his head.
Elsewhere on the team, there doesn't seem to be as much good news on the injury front.
The news on cornerback Quinton Dunbar doesn't seem encouraging.
"I don’t know about Dunbar. He was struggling a bit today," Gruden said after practice. The cornerback injured his knee against Philly and missed the Cowboys game. It would take some serious progress for Dunbar to play Monday night.
The news seems even more concerning with tight end Jordan Reed. He hasn't played since sustaining a concussion in the third preseason game, and this week he practiced on Wednesday but didn't make it out on the field Thursday or Friday. At this point, the Redskins seem wise to move forward without Reed in the game plan as he works his way back from the concussion protocol.
Further down the line, cornerback Fabian Moreau looks like he is tracking to return to the field against Chicago while questions keep popping up around safety Montae Nicholson. Gruden said Nicholson's absence was mainly for rest.