GLENDALE, Ariz. — Indianapolis Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson says he noticed nothing wrong with the football he intercepted against New England in last week’s AFC championship game.
Talking after his Pro Bowl team practiced at Luke Air Force Base on Thursday, he said he merely wanted to keep the ball as a souvenir.
“Some guys, you make a big play, you want the ball,” Jackson said. “That was my intention.”
He said he took it to the sidelines, hasn’t seen it since and probably never will.
“I’ll do my best to try to get ahold of it,” Jackson said. “But right now it’s in the middle of — what do they call it? — ‘Deflategate.’ ”
The normal procedure when a player wants to save the ball, he said, is for it to go to the equipment staff “and you have it in your locker come Monday morning.”
“I don’t know how it got to this point,” Jackson said, “but somehow I’m in the middle of it.”
Jackson said he doesn’t handle the ball enough to know whether it was properly inflated or not.
“The deal about me saying that I noticed anything about it, that’s totally false,” he said.
LYNCH FINED FOR GESTURE: The NFL has fined Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch $20,000 for making an obscene gesture during last Sunday’s NFC championship game, a source told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The league did not specify what the gesture was in the win over Green Bay, but Lynch grabbed his crotch after scoring a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Lynch was fined $11,000 for a similar gesture in Seattle’s win over Arizona on Dec. 21.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the fine has not been publicly announced.
Lynch has a history of drawing fines from the NFL, mostly for not talking to the media as required under his contract. He was fined $50,000 in November for repeated violations of the league’s media policy.
SAINTS ASSISTANT JOINS STAFF: Another member of the New Orleans Saints is heading to Chicago.
According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, Saints assistant offensive line coach Frank Smith is joining the Bears as a tight ends coach.
Smith joined the Saints in 2010 and assists in all aspects of game preparation. He also works closely with offensive line coach Bret Ingalls.
Smith worked at Butler University from 2006-09. He worked with the offensive linemen and served as the offensive coordinator for his final three seasons.
Smith played at Miami (Ohio) from 2000-2003.
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD TO BE NAMED AFTER ROONEY: The NFL will name an annual award recognizing outstanding sportsmanship on the field in honor of the founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers Art Rooney Sr.
The winner selected by the vote of the players will be announced at the “NFL Honors” show on Saturday, Jan. 31 on NBC, the night before the Super Bowl.
The award established this year is determined by a vote of the NFL players.
The award will be presented each year to an NFL player who demonstrates on the field the qualities of sportsmanship, respect for opponents, and integrity in competition. He will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.
Each NFL team nominated one player during the season.