UPDATE, 2/4/18, 10:50 p.m. ET:
Malcolm Butler didn't have much to say about being benched after Super Bowl LII. But he did say he felt as though the Patriots "gave up" on him heading into the game.
See original story below.
Malcolm Butler took part in one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history at Super Bowl XLIX. The then-rookie picked off a Russell Wilson pass near the end zone at the end of the game to secure a Patriots victory, and in the process, he solidified himself as a Patriots legend.
But for whatever reason, Butler hasn’t factored into the Patriots’ Super Bowl LII matchup against the Eagles. Butler has played on special teams, but he didn’t start at cornerback for New England—and he hasn’t played a single snap in a reserve role, either. It was apparently a "coach’s decision," according to the NBC broadcasters.
The decision has left a lot of Patriots fans confused. They’re wondering why Bill Belichick has decided against going with Butler at all on defense, and they're speculating over what Butler could have possibly done to get benched during the Super Bowl of all games.
For now, it’s still unclear why Belichick made the move he did. NBC’s Michele Tafoya asked him at halftime, and he gave a pretty generic response to her.
But if the Patriots aren't able to overcome a second-half deficit against the Eagles, it’s pretty much a guarantee Belichick will be asked to speak about all of this again after the game.