This investigation is unbelievable and it's just getting better.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport has more information surrounding the Patriots deflated footballs in the AFC Championship game. Rap Sheet, a former Boston Herald journalist who is tapped into the situation, confirms some of Pro Football Talk's original statements, including the fact the ball boy was in the restroom for "98 seconds". Rapoport adds that the ball boy was described as "elderly". Take that as you will.
In addition to confirming prior reports, Rapoport has added a few new factors:
1) Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are saying the same things behind closed doors as they were to the public; they had no idea and weren't aware about game day processes with the football.
2) While 11 of the 12 measured footballs were underinflated, only one was two PSI below the limit. Rapoport describes the other 10 as "about a pound below," "just a few ticks under the minimum," or "right at the line."
3) The league is in possession of the football that D'Qwell Jackson intercepted and spawned this whole ordeal, and this is the sole football that is 2 PSI below the limit.
Possibly the most interesting twist that could happen, posed by NESN's Doug Kyed, would be if the ball that Jackson intercepted happened to be the lone football 2 PSI below the limit, because that would absolutely shift suspicion away from the Patriots and onto the Colts and their sideline for tampering and manufacturing the story.
As the intercepted football, the only one in that was in Colts possession, is the only football 2 PSI below the limit, it certainly raises suspicions about why this is the only football so far below. Additionally, this leads credence to the fact that Colts personnel would be the ones responsible for leaking the initial reports, as the ball in their possession is the only one that matches the initial reports.
Hopefully this story is almost over, but any time good news surfaces we'll pass it along.
Edit: story updated to reflect Rapoport's television spot.