A year removed from the DeflateGate controversy, the Patriots hosted the Chiefs last Saturday in the AFC divisional round, but not before the officials forgot to bring air pressure gauges to measure the footballs.
The officials had to ask Massachusetts State Police to retrieve the gauges as well as the “K-balls” used exclusively by the kickers, from a hotel near Logan Airport. The police then brought the equipment to Gillette Stadium, about a 45-minute drive from the airport.
According to ESPN.com, the equipment arrived at the stadium at approximately 3:30 p.m. — about an hour before the start of the game — and was turned over to an NFL security official.
“There were no issues with the football used in the game,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.
The game was played two days before the one-year anniversary of the AFC Championship Game. After the Colts accused the Patriots of using purposely deflated footballs in the first half of the game last year, the NFL undertook an exhaustive investigation into the matter and concluded that it was “more probable than not” that quarterback Tom Brady and two equipment staffers were involved in a plan to intentionally take air out of the footballs before the game.
Brady was suspended four games by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but the suspension was overturned in federal court. The NFL has appealed the matter, and the case is expected to be heard in March. It is uncertain whether the league would enforce the suspension if it wins the appeal.
The Patriots were fined $1 million and had to surrender their 2016 first-round draft pick, as well as a fourth-rounder in 2017. The team did not appeal the sanctions.