It’s been over a year since the AFC Championship game that started “Deflategate”, and the scandal is back in the news with a major plot twist.
A U.S. Appeals Court has reinstated the NFL’s four game suspension of New England Patriots QB Tom Brady for his supposed role in “Deflategate”, in which he allegedly had “general awareness” of a scheme to deflate footballs during the 2015 AFC Championship game against the Colts.
It’s a big win for the NFL, with the ruling seemingly validating commissioner Roger Goodell’s original decision to suspend Brady.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 25, 2016
The NFLPA also responded to the ruling, saying they will “review the decision”.
NFLPA on Brady appeal:" Our Union will carefully review the decision, consider all of our options and continue to fight for players' rights"
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 25, 2016
The ruling is an overturn of a lower court’s decision last September in which Brady’s suspension was vacated, allowing him to play in all 18 games of the Patriots season last year, including their run to the AFC Championship game in which they lost to the eventual champion Denver Broncos.
The breaking news caused a mix bag of reactions from many people.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 25, 2016
Totally fair to suspend Tom Brady for the 1st 4 games of last season
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) April 25, 2016
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 25, 2016
The suspension means that in all likelihood, barring a surprise signing or trade, Jimmy Garappolo will start in Week 1, when the Patriots travel to Arizona for a Sunday night showdown with the Cardinals, as well the following three games, all at home, against the Miami Dolphins, the Houston Texans, and the Buffalo Bills. Garappolo, the Patriots 2nd-round pick from the 2014 Draft, is 21 of 30 for 188 yards and a touchdown in his career so far. All of those statistics though, have come in relief of Tom Brady. Now Garappolo will be in the spotlight, with the Patriots hoping he can channel his inner Matt Cassel, and keep the performing well in Brady’s absence.
The last time Brady missed a regular season game was in 2008, when he tore his ACL in the first game of the season against the Chiefs. Cassel led the Patriots to an 11-5 record that season.