Bengals say NFL is investigating the Patriots over “incident” at Sunday’s game

Michael David Smith

The Bengals say that the league office is investigating after a Patriots employee was seen filming at the Bengals’ game on Sunday.

Toward the end of an otherwise mundane press conference today, Bengals coach Zac Taylor was asked this question by a reporter: “Rumors are out there that the Patriots had a videographer up in the Bengals’ press box area working with the advance scout who was taping video of the Bengals’ sideline. Do you have any reaction to that?”

Taylor answered, “I’m aware that there was an incident but the league is investigating it, so I’ve got no comment.”

Asked if the Patriots’ videographer was doing something outside the normal practices of team scouts, Taylor answered, “I don’t have anything to say about it.”

Asked if he could confirm that the Patriots did have someone in the press box during the Bengals’ game on Sunday, Taylor answered, “I’ve got no comment.”

The Bengals gave Albert Breer a statement saying, “We are aware of the incident, and we are aware it is being investigated by NFL Security. We will have no further comment.”

For their part, the Patriots put out word to multiple reporters that the videographer they sent to Sunday’s Bengals-Browns game was simply shooting one of the regular “Do Your Job” documentary videos that the team features on its website. This episode will be about what an advance scout does while preparing for an upcoming opponent.

The incident will obviously bring comparisons to Spygate, the 2007 controversy over the Patriots taping the Jets’ signals. That resulted in the Patriots being docked a first-round draft pick. It’s hard to believe the Patriots, who are heavily favored to beat the Bengals on Sunday, would risk such a serious sanction by doing something similar to a team they should beat easily, but this is a situation that will undoubtedly raise eyebrows around the NFL this week.