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John Harbaugh denies tipping off Colts about deflated footballs

The Ravens coach called rumors that his team gave Indy a heads up "ridiculous."

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

John Harbaugh was a guest commentator on NBC's Super Bowl pregame coverage on Sunday and used the opportunity to deny recent reports that the Ravens tipped off the Colts to the under-inflated footballs that launched the DeflateGate scandal. When asked by Bob Costas whether Baltimore contacted Indianapolis about the Patriots' using deflated balls prior to the AFC Championship, Harbaugh called the rumor "ridiculous," according to WEEI.

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported two weeks ago that the Ravens, who lost to the Patriots in the Divisional round, reached out to the Colts to warn them during the week of the conference title game. Glazer claimed that "the NFL was already planning to inspect the balls at halftime, despite D'Qwell Jackson's interception originally being reported as the cause."

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the Colts already had concerns with the Patriots using under-inflated footballs after their regular-season matchup in November.

Harbaugh had previously denied the ESPN report, claiming the Ravens did not suspect foul play.

"We did not notice anything," Harbaugh told ESPN. "We never had a ball that they used or anything like that on offense, so we don't know anything about that in our game. We didn't have a chance to handle any of their offensive footballs.

"As far as the kicking balls, it was 20 degrees out, so the balls were softer," Harbaugh said. "Our guys told us during the game, and I just chalked that up to the fact that it was cold and that both teams were kicking the same kicking balls, so I didn't think really anything of it during the game. Other than that, it's not something we've really given any thought to at all."