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The NFL is putting tracking sensors inside its footballs for the first time

The NFL cares a lot about what goes inside its footballs — just ask the New England Patriots. Which is why it’s significant that the league is thinking about making a change to the pigskin: The NFL has added a lightweight, quarter-sized sensor inside each football this preseason to measure actual game data as things unfold on the field. The sensors, which rest just under the ball’s laces, can capture information like velocity, acceleration and distance, and send that info back to computer monitors in just half a second. The League has been using the sensors during preseason games this summer, but hasn’t yet decided if the sensors will be used in the regular season.

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