Patriots in the clear over headsets

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The NFL insist there has been no wrongdoing on the part of the New England Patriots after coaching headsets used by opponents Pittsburgh Steelers were subject to audio interference on Thursday.

The Steelers' headsets were rendered useless during the first quarter in Thursday night's 28-21 loss at Gillette Stadium, with Mike Tomin's coaching unit receiving home radio broadcasts through their earpieces.

Suspicious eyes were cast in the Patriots' direction, fuelled by Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin's post-match comments, who said communication problems were "always the case" when playing in New England.

But the Patriots, who have been at the centre of the recent NFL Deflategate controversy, are guilty of no impropriety whatsoever, according to a league spokesperson.

The spokesman said: "Based on our review to date, we believe that the audio interference on Steelers' headsets last night was entirely attributable to an electrical issue made worse by the inclement weather, that it involved no manipulation by any individual, and that the Patriots had nothing to do with it.

"The issue was promptly resolved and there were no further problems for the remainder of the game. We will continue to review the matter to determine if there are technical steps that can be taken to avoid similar problems from occurring in other games."

The Steelers have since released a statement of their own saying they will not lodge a formal complaint with the league.

"We have provided information to NFL representatives regarding issues that occurred Thursday night at Gillette Stadium with our coach-to-coach headset communications system," the statement read.

"The problem was addressed during the game and we did not have further problems in the second half. We did not file a formal complaint, nor do we plan to do so."