NFL investigating whether Patriots used deflated footballs

NEW YORK (AP) – NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says the NFL is investigating whether the Patriots deflated footballs used in their AFC championship game victory over the Colts.

McCarthy said Monday morning he cannot provide any other information now. The inquiry was first reported by WTHR-TV in Indiana, citing an unnamed source.

The NFL rule book says “it is the responsibility of the home team to furnish playable balls at all times.” The game operations manual notes that people who alter footballs or allow an unapproved football to be used in a game can be disciplined with fines or other punishments.

The Patriots beat the Colts 45-7 to reach the Super Bowl. New England will play Seattle for the NFL title on Feb. 1.

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