The NFL said today the New England Patriots can reinstate the two employees at the heart of the deflategate scandal, allowing John Jastremski and Jim McNally to return to work.
Jastremski, the team’s equipment assistant, and McNally, the officials locker room attendant, were accused of deflating footballs below league standards during last season’s AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.
The two were suspended by the team during the investigation, which uncovered texting communication in which McNally referred to himself as “the deflator.” The Patriots said that he was referring to weight loss.
Quarterback Tom Brady was also suspended for the first four games of the season, although a judge overturned that suspension earlier this month.
Last week, the Patriots requested that Jastremski and McNally be allowed to return to the team and today the NFL issued a statement approving their reinstatement.
“The Patriots have satisfied the league’s requirements for reinstatement and the league has granted permission for the employees to return,” it said.
Reinstated they may be, but Ian Rapoport of NFL network and NFL.com reported that the two are prohibited from handling footballs.