The NFL continued its effort to keep Deflategate II from becoming a major issue during Commissioner Roger Goodell’s press conference at Wednesday’s league meeting in Irving, Texas.
The Giants informed the league that two balls used by the Steelers in Week 13 were underinflated after the team tested them on their sideline following turnovers. The league said that there was no “formal complaint” filed by the Giants regarding the situation and that “official game ball procedures were followed,” which was the same message that Goodell sent when asked about it on Wednesday.
“We went back to look to make sure the protocols were followed properly. They were,” Goodell said. “The Giants had asked us about it during the game. We went back, we checked that. They were properly followed. All of the league protocols being properly followed, there’s no further followup on that. The teams didn’t follow up, we didn’t follow up any further because we were comfortable that the protocols were followed.”
Goodell said that the officials tested the balls before the game and that the officials maintained possession of the ball before they were put into the game. He added that the Giants’ tests were done with a different device than the one used by the game officials, which is not part of the protocol and why the league feels comfortable with how everything was handled in Pittsburgh
Giants owner John Mara and Steelers owner Art Rooney both said the issue of underinflated balls is “much ado about nothing.” That certainly seems to be the league’s feeling — this time, anyway — as well.