Sorry, New England Patriots fans: The Malcolm Butler Super Bowl benching saga isn’t over yet.
Devin McCourty assured as much Friday during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio. The Patriots safety, who claimed Sunday night his teammates were well aware Butler wasn’t going to start in Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles, was asked again Friday about who knew what and when.
“We never really knew,” McCourty said, via WEEI.com. “… The starting part we knew, but him not playing — I think (head coach) Bill (Belichick) said after the game, it was a straight coaching decision. You know, that is how the NFL works, the coaches coach and the players play. We just played. It was a situation where that’s how it ended.”
Basically, McCourty and his teammates knew Butler wouldn’t start but had no idea he’d play zero defensive snaps.
McCourty’s clarification makes sense, as fellow cornerback Eric Rowe claimed he didn’t know Butler would be benched until kickoff but had been practicing as New England’s No. 2 cornerback behind Stephon Gilmore in the week leading up to Super Bowl LII.
McCourty wouldn’t go as far to say Butler’s absence played a significant factor in their 41-33 loss to the Eagles, though.
“A lot hurt us defensively in the game,” McCourty added. “We didn’t stop much of anything. What was the score? They had 40 points. (Patriots quarterback Tom) Brady threw for 500 yards, so defensively it was a lot of us — we could go down the list of Hall of Famers both teams could have used. Us more than them, though.”
Glad we cleared that up.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images