Why didn’t Malcolm Butler play any defensive snaps in Super Bowl LII?
The New England Patriots still haven’t provided a worthy answer to that question, sparking all sorts of theories as to why head coach Bill Belichick benched the veteran cornerback. Apparently, one of those theories reached Brandon Browner.
Browner, Butler’s teammate for one season on the 2014 Patriots, posted a video to Instagram on Monday suggesting Butler had been caught smoking marijuana and may have missed curfew before Sunday’s eventual loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Rumors circulated Monday that Butler was caught with weed while returning late to the team’s hotel in Minneapolis, and while none of those reports have been substantiated, that could be what Browner is referencing here.
Interestingly enough, Browner noted in the video that New England is a team that gives players “second chances” while adding “there’s always favorites,” suggesting Butler may have fallen out of favor with the Patriots, and that the team may have used his alleged transgressions as justification not to play him.
For the record, Belichick insisted Sunday night that benching Butler was a football decision and had nothing to do with disciplinary reasons.
Another former Patriot, retired wide receiver Donte Stallworth, gave his own two cents on the strange situation Monday afternoon.
Stallworth doesn’t claim to know any actual information but, like Browner, believes Butler allegedly missing curfew could have led to his benching.
Again, we still don’t have a legitimate explanation for why Butler didn’t play outside what Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said Sunday night. And until we get one, the rumors will continue to fly.
Thumbnail photo via James Lang/USA TODAY Sports Images