AFC Notes: Pats, Hilton, Rice, Manziel

Earlier this week, the NFL reinstated Patriots employee Jim McNally from suspension for his role in the DeflateGate scandal. McNally may not be totally out of the woods yet, though, as new allegations against him have come to light. Former official Mark Baltz, the league’s head linesman from 1989-2013, told that he was always suspicious of McNally, according to John Breech of

“[McNally] was always worried about the footballs. Always,” Baltz stated. “It was very odd. I reported him to the league, but never got any reaction from them. I don’t think they thought it was a big deal at the time. But [McNally] did things that 31 other locker room attendants don’t do.”

Baltz said he reported McNally to the league six to eight years ago.

“All I know is, when he got [the footballs], he would run. He would take off,” Baltz added. “Whether he was going somewhere and letting air out, I’m definitely suspicious, but I don’t know for sure.”

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Colts No. 1 receiver T.Y. Hilton caught seven passes for 88 yards before suffering a knee injury that caused him to leave the team’s 27-14 loss to Buffalo last Sunday. Afterward, there was fear that he’d be out for a solid chunk of time. However, Hilton and head coach Chuck Pagano think he could be ready to go in time for Monday’s game against the Jets.  “A game-time decision depending on how I feel,” Hilton said Thursday, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Pagano said he has “a lot” of optimism that Hilton will play this week.
  • With LeSean McCoy‘s hamstring injury continuing to be an issue, the Bills suddenly look thin at running back. However, don’t expect them to sign free agent Ray Rice, according to Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News (Twitter link). Instead, look for rookie Karlos Williams‘ workload to increase. Williams rushed for a team-high 55 yards and a touchdown on just six carries in the Bills’ win over Indianapolis.
  • There aren’t many believers left when it comes to Johnny Manziel, but Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is one of them. “Johnny has tremendous physical attributes — tremendous physical attributes,” DeFilippo said, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We just have to keep grooming him and keep teaching him situational football and when to take chances and when not to.”
  • The Ravens got just 190 total yards from their offense in their 19-13 opening week loss to Denver. New offensive coordinator Marc Trestman took the blame, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Trestman said his offense has to find ways to get the ball downfield. That should be easier this week against a thin Oakland secondary.
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