The NFL spent several months dealing with Deflategate and never got a satisfactory resolution, but the league is hoping to put Headsetgate to rest within a day.
The league said Friday afternoon that there is no reason to believe the Patriots did anything to tamper with the Steelers’ coach-to-coach communications in Thursday’s game. Instead, electrical problems and bad weather caused the interference the Steelers’ coaches were hearing.
“Based on our review to date, we believe that the audio interference on Steelers’ headsets last night was entirely attributable to an electrical issue made worse by the inclement weather; that it involved no manipulation by any individual; and that the Patriots had nothing to do with it,” the league’s statement said. “The issue was promptly resolved and there were no further problems for the remainder of the game. We will continue to review the matter to determine if there are technical steps that can be taken to avoid similar problems from occurring in other games.”
That explanation won’t satisfy everyone. It doesn’t explain, for instance, the Steelers’ claim that the headset problems repeatedly went away when a league official came down to the sideline to inspect the matter, only to recur when the league official left. And it doesn’t explain why several teams have made claims that the Patriots tampered with their communications’ devices.
But the league hopes that a quick resolution to Headsetgate can put the focus back on the field when the games are played on Sunday.