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Malcolm Butler made one of the biggest plays in NFL history, intercepting Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the end zone in the final moments of Super Bowl XLIX to secure the New England Patriots’ fourth championship.
On Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, he didn’t play a defensive snap.
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Butler, a starting cornerback and 2015 Pro Bowler, got benched. Eric Rowe started in his place.
Butler was distraught after the game, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Butler missed media night on Monday, but was taken off the injury board leading up to the Super Bowl.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick, in typical fashion, was short on details as to why Butler was benched on Sunday.
“We put the players out there and the game plan out there that we thought would be the best tonight like we always do,” Belichick told reporters asking about Butler after the game.
Belichick said he was not benched for disciplinary reasons.
Multiple former Patriots tweeted during the game supporting Butler.
A pending free agent, Butler was considered to be on the trade block ahead of the trade deadline as the Patriots did not anticipate paying to keep him during the offseason. Butler visited with the New Orleans Saints last offseason as a restricted free agent but ended up signing with the Patriots on a one-year deal when he couldn’t get a long-term contract from either team.
Butler struggled at times in 2017 to play up to his usual form.
Related Super Bowl LII coverage on Yahoo Sports:
• Eagles beat Patriots in epic Super Bowl LII
• Foles’ improbable journey ends with Super Bowl MVP
• Gronk on retirement: ‘I’m going to look at my future’
• Black screen leaves Super Bowl viewers baffled
• NFL’s catch rule factors into Eagles’ game-winning TD