It’s been more than 18 months since Deflategate happened, but it still finds ways to make appearances in the NFL news cycle.
We’ve had a bit of a respite from the whole saga, which began after the AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts in January 2015, as Tom Brady waits for his second appeal hearing of his four-game suspension. But a tweak in the NFL rules regarding pregame football procedure brought the whole thing back up again.
The NFL made a slight change to how footballs are to be handled before every game and how many footballs each team brings to each contest, ProFootballTalk pointed out Sunday.
“Rule 2, Section 2 quietly has been revised to alter the pregame procedures regarding the submission of footballs for PSI testing,” PFT’s Mike Florio wrote. “Previously, each team was required to make 12 balls available for pregame testing two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff. The home team also was required to make 12 backup balls available for testing in all stadiums, and the visiting team was permitted to bring 12 balls for pregame testing at game played in outdoor stadiums only.
“As revised, Rule 2, Section 2 now requires all teams in all games to give 12 primary balls and 12 backup balls to the referee no later than 2 hours and 30 minutes before kickoff.”
The NFL hasn’t given a reason for the extra footballs and extra 15 minutes before every game, but it might have something to do with the random PSI checks the league did last year. However, the NFL never released any measurements, saying only there were no violations.
Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images