Any notion that the NFL’s investigation into the New England Patriots’ usage of underinflated footballs during the AFC Championship Game might be done prior to the kickoff of Super Bowl XLIX can pretty much be put to rest.
Ted Wells, who was appointed by the league to assist with the ongoing probe, released a statement Monday — prior to the Patriots’ arrival in Arizona, site of Sunday’s Super Bowl — saying he doesn’t expect the matter to be resolved for “several more weeks.”
Furthermore, Wells essentially gave the Patriots an organizational pass from talking about the matter this week even though it is clearly the front burner issue as the buildup to the big game begins in earnest.
“We are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation on the issue of the footballs used in the AFC Championship. This work began last week, stretched through the weekend, and is proceeding expeditiously this week notwithstanding the Super Bowl,” said Wells, a prominent lawyer who also investigated the Miami Dolphins’ locker room bullying scandal during the 2013 season.
“We are following customary investigative procedures and no one should draw any conclusions about the sequence of interviews or any other steps, all of which are part of the process of doing a thorough and fair investigation. I expect the investigation to take at least several more weeks.”
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