New England Patriots defensive back Malcolm Butler was benched Sunday for Super Bowl LII, one of the more curious decisions during the game and especially afterwards, as Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns.
After the game, won 41-33 by Philadelphia, a frustrated Butler pushed back against the Patriots, via ESPN:
“They gave up on me. It is what it is,” Butler said after the game.
“I could have changed that game.”
Butler, who played nearly 98 percent of the team’s defensive snaps this season, arrived late in Minneapolis due to illness.
Head coach Bill Belichick called his choice not to play Butler a “football decision.”
Butler is a former Pro Bowler, two-time Super Bowl champion and has started 16, 16 and 15 games in the last three years, respectively. He also has registered eight interceptions over the last three seasons.
He registered the game-winning interception against Russell Wilson in Super Bowl XLIX.
Butler will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.