As the NFL looks into the question of whether the Patriots removed air from footballs used in Sunday’s AFC title game, one conclusion already has been reached. Per a league source, several balls were removed from play for being underinflated.
The inflation (or lack thereof) of footballs is checked before each game, and the balls are periodically tested during each game.
According to the source, it’s “not unheard of” for a ball to be removed from play for an abnormality noticed during the game.
In this case, given that “several” were abnormal, the questions become: (1) how did it happen?; and (2) was it deliberate?
The investigation is ongoing.