Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, general manager Ryan Grigson confirmed for the first time that the Indianapolis Colts alerted the NFL as to concerns over the New England Patriots' deflated footballs in advance of the AFC Championship Game.
"Earlier in that week, prior to the AFC Championship Game, we told the league about our concerns," Grigson said. "We went into the game, we had some issues. We're going to do what we can which is participate with the league and the investigation and wait until the Wells Report comes out. There's no other recourse other than to wait until that investigation comes out."
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Not only was Grigson unapologetic about his organization's role in the controversy, he was emphatic that he owed it to his team to ensure a level playing field for the best chance to win.
"Again, if rules were broken, we'll see," Grigson added. "If not, that's what the investigation is for."
With the slightly deflated balls removed from circulation to ensure a level playing field, the Colts were outscored 28-0 in the second half versus the Patriots.
Asked about the widely spread conspiracy theory that the Colts might have purposely deflated the balls to frame the Patriots, Grigson offered an appropriate response: "That's ludicrous."
Fortunately for rational football fans, the "grotesque chorus of vaudeville-caliber outrage," as Grantland's Charlie Pierce described the hysterical fallout over the controversy, has died down since Patriots owner Robert Kraft stood his ground and backed his embattled team during Super Bowl week.
At this point, Grigson is correct. All we can do is wait for the findings of the investigation led by Ted Wells and Jeff Pash.
If there is evidence of wrongdoing, the Patriots face the loss of draft picks -- just as the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons do for rulesinfractions that were all but ignored during the "DeflateGate" scandal.
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