Security officers grounded a drone operated by a local resident over the Atlanta Falcons' pre-Super Bowl practice on Thursday, NFL.com reports. The team was practicing at the Rice University campus, near Houston's NRG Stadium where the championship game will be held Sunday night. It is unclear how the drone was caught, and the Falcons' practice security went otherwise undisturbed.
The Falcons have good reason to be wary of possible surveillance, as their Super Bowl rivals, the New England Patriots, are known to have secretly filmed New York Jets' defensive coaches' signals in violation of NFL rules. In a scandal dubbed "Spygate," the team was disciplined for the surveillance in 2007.
The Super Bowl LI kickoff is scheduled to air at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox. The Patriots are aiming for their fifth Super Bowl win in what will be their ninth overall Super Bowl appearance. The Falcons, by contrast, have not competed in the Super Bowl for nearly two decades and have never won. Lady Gaga will headline the halftime show with Tony Bennett, and country singer Luke Bryan will perform the National Anthem.