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NFL calls Steelers' deflated football 'defective'

Kevin Gorman
| Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, 2:51 p.m.
The Steelers’ Landry Jones huddles with the offense during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Philadelphia.
The Steelers’ Landry Jones huddles with the offense during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Philadelphia.

Following a report that the Steelers used a deflated football in the third quarter of their exhibition game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the NFL said the ball was “defective.”

Howard Eskin of Sports Radio WIP, who serves as sideline reporter for Eagles games, tweeted Friday morning that the NFL was “investigating” a ball that was “VERY deflated.” The Steelers beat the Eagles, 31-14, Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

Eskin later reported that the ball was used in the third quarter of the game at Lincoln Financial Field, when rookie Mason Rudolph was playing quarterback for the Steelers. Eskin tweeted that he saw the ball after an incompletion and “it was like a marshmallow.”

NFL spokesman Michael Signora issued the following statement: “All footballs were in compliance with NFL rules following the pregame inspection process and all proper procedures were followed. In the third quarter, a football that was found to be defective was removed from play and will be sent back to Wilson for review.”

The New England Patriots were at the center of a controversy that became known as Deflategate in 2015, when the league found that at least one football didn’t meet the required 12.5 to 13.5 PSI (pounds per square inch) in the AFC championship game victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

The NFL suspended Patriots quarterback Tom Brady four games, which he served during the 2016 season, fined the team $1 million and forced it to forfeit two draft picks.

Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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