Zero hour for Brady, Patriots

The hammer fell for the New England Patriots and Tom Brady following the NFL’s investigation into the use of under-inflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game. As a result of the infractions, the Patriots are being fined $1 million and will forfeit the club’s first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and the club’s fourth-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, quarterback Tom Brady will be suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL, although he has announced he will appeal. From a media perspective, that means that NBC’s NFL Kickoff on Sept. 10 against the Steelers will be without the Super Bowl MVP when the season opens, but NBC will also be the first network (because of the bye) to host him on Week 6 on Sunday Night Football against the Colts. CBS will carry the team’s other three games during the suspension against Buffalo, Jacksonville and Dallas.

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