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Monday’s roundup: Football inspection rules on the way

Associated Press

The NFL is preparing to send out instructions to game officials and teams explaining new rules for inspecting footballs.

People familiar with the league’s plans said Monday proper inflation of the footballs will be documented as part of the new policy.

The first exhibition is Aug. 9, the Hall of Fame game between Minnesota and Pittsburgh in Canton, Ohio.

Among the details being considered for the new policy: having game officials appointed by the referee inspect the 48 footballs for each game more than two hours before kickoff.

In the past, the referee inspected the footballs.

Also under consideration is checking pressure readings for every ball before the game and then again at halftime.

These changes stem from the use of underinflated footballs in the AFC Championship, which led to a four-game suspension for New England quarterback Tom Brady, a $1 million fine for the organization, and the loss of two draft picks.

Brady has appealed the suspension and is awaiting commissioner Roger Goodell’s ruling. The Patriots did not challenge their punishments.

Under the new guidelines, the official in charge of balls used for kicking would handle all footballs after they pass inspection by the two selected game officials.

Ten minutes before the game, a member of the officiating crew and a security official will bring 24 balls, 12 for each team, to the field.

The other 24 balls will remain in the officials’ dressing room. They would be used in the second half of games in which the first 24 balls are inspected at halftime.

Those halftime inspections will be done randomly.

Extra points

Panthers offense tackle Jonathan Martin, the lineman harassed during the Dolphins 2013 bullying scandal, is contemplating retirement after a back injury.

Martin’s agent Ken Zuckerman said his client recently injured his back during a workout. Zuckerman says doctors informed Martin he’s not allowed to do any activity for six weeks and needs surgery.

Martin, 25,signed with Carolina this offseason.

... Former Colts quarterback Jack Trudeau has been arrested in Zionsville, Ind., on preliminary charges of operating while intoxicated, public intoxication and intimidating a police officer.

A probable cause affidavit says Trudeau, 52, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.31 percent, nearly four times the legal limit (0.08).

... Defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, a major disappointment in four seasons with the Buccaneers, is getting another opportunity to prove himself after re-signing with the team.

NFL fine schedule

Violation

1st Offense

2nd Offense

Physical Contact with Official

$28,940

$57,881

Verbal/Non-Physical Offense Against Official

$23,152

$46,305

Striking/Kicking/Kneeing

$8,681

$17,363

Horse Collar Tackle

$17,363

$34,728

Face Mask

$8,681

$17,363

Leg Whip

$17,363

$34,728

Late Hit

$8,681

$17,363

Spearing

$23,152

$46,305

Hit on Defenseless Player

$23,152

$46,305

Blindside Block

$23,152

$46,305

Roughing the Passer

$17,363

$34,728

Low Block

$8,681

$17,363

Chop Block

$8,681

$17,363

Fighting

$28,940

$57,881

Unnecessarily Entering Fight Area (active involvement)

$5,787

$11,576

Unnecessarily Entering Fight Area (no active involvement)

$2,893

$8,681

Excessive Profanity, other Unsportsmanlike Conduct

$11,576

$23,152

Taunting

$8,681

$11,576

Football Into Stands

$5,787

$11,576

Foreign Substances on Body/Uniform

$8,681

$17,363

Chin Strap violations

$8,681

$11,576