The New England Patriots confirmed Wednesday that they have asked the National Football League to reinstate team employees James McNally and John Jastremski, who were suspended as part of the "Deflategate" investigation.
Team spokesman Stacey James said the team requested the reinstatement Monday. He said the team hasn't heard back from the league.
The NFL refused to confirm that the Patriots had made the request, according to Pro Football Talk.
Jastremski, an equipment assistant, and McNally, a locker room attendant, became critical figures in the "Deflategate" case due to text messages they exchanged in the weeks and months leading up to the 2015 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. In those texts, McNally referred to himself as "the deflator," and suggested that he might have been letting air out of footballs in exchange for sneakers and signed memorabilia.
The two have been suspended since May. The Patriots said the NFL asked them to suspend the two employees, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has denied that the league made any such request.
The Patriots are scheduled to kick off their season at home on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.