Why Didn’t Malcolm Butler Play at the Super Bowl?
Malcolm Butler's absence from the field at Sunday's Super Bowl has left everyone wondering..."what the heck happened"???
The Patriot's cornerback, who was the hero of Super Bowl 49, played almost 98 percent of the team's regular season defensive snaps, but was inexplicably benched for the entire Super Bowl (save one lonely special teams snap on the Eagles only punt). This, meanwhile, happening while his defensive back teammates were being absolutely shredded by Eagles' backup quarterback, Nick Foles.
One ESPN reporter, Ian Rapaport, called Butler's benching was due to a "perfect storm of issues".
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">My understanding is the benching of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Patriots?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Patriots</a> CB Malcolm Butler happened because of a perfect storm of issues: Sickness, a rough week of practice, and a minor rule violation believed to be related to curfew. A complicated matter. <a href="https://t.co/TmUJgkHpsZ">pic.twitter.com/TmUJgkHpsZ</a></p>— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) <a href="https://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/960664146575527937?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 5, 2018</a></blockquote>
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It has been said that Butler was sick with the flu before the game and had to fly out to the Super Bowl a day later than the rest of the team. Along with illness, he had not been playing up to par with the team at practices the week before. Lastly, even though Bill Belichick commented and said that Butler's absence was not due to a disciplinary issue, Rapoport reports that Butler broke a "minor team violation".
"They gave up on me. [explitive]. It is what it is,” Butler told ESPN afterwards during an interview. “I could’ve changed that game”, he added and would not comment on what was next for him within his football career. Butler is set to become an unrestricted free agent this year and may not return to the Patriots for the next season.
Additional Reporting by Madisyn Bozarth