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DeflateGate Report: Patriots Employee Tried To Put Unapproved Ball Into AFC Title Game

BOSTON (CBS) – A new report on the Deflategate controversy names a Patriots locker room attendant who allegedly tried to put an unapproved football into the AFC Championship Game.

According to ESPN's Outside the Lines, Pats locker room attendant Jim McNally tried to give a football not approved by officials to an alternate official in charge of special teams footballs during last month's 45-7 Pats victory against the Colts.

The football was said to be a special teams football, which are marked with a "k" and are not used by offenses of either team.

According to ESPN, McNally's ball was not marked.  Here's an excerpt from the report:

The alternate official, Greg Yette, became suspicious when he noticed that the football McNally handed him did not have the proper markings on it, three sources said. One of those sources added that Yette found it surprising that the officials' locker room attendant was on the field, trying to hand him a ball, because officials' locker room attendants don't typically have ball-handling responsibilities during NFL games.

Because the football was unapproved, it led the officials to check the other footballs in the game.

The report also noted that NFL VP of game operations Mike Kensil went from the press box to the officials' locker room to personally oversee the measurement of the footballs.

"One source said Kensil personally checked the PSI (pounds per square inch) levels of all 12 footballs the Patriots had for use on offense and found that 11 of those 12 were underinflated by 'one to two pounds,'" the report said.

That information contradicts a previous ESPN report by Chris Mortensen, who said on Jan. 21 that 11 of the Patriots' 12 footballs were a full two PSI under the low threshold laid out by the rulebook.

McNally has reportedly been a part-time employee in charge of the officials locker room at Gillette Stadium since at least 2008.

He's already been interviewed by NFL investigators, according to ESPN.

McNally and the Patriots have not commented on the report.

The Patriots have denied intentionally doing anything wrong with the footballs during the AFC Championship.

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