Taylor McCloud — Pats Militia
After being glued to the computer all day, waiting for any sort of concrete information regarding Malcolm Butler, Ian Rapoport finally gave me something I could work with.
My understanding is the benching of #Patriots CB Malcolm Butler happened because of a perfect storm of issues: Sickness, a rough week of practice, and a minor rule violation believed to be related to curfew. A complicated matter. pic.twitter.com/TmUJgkHpsZ
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 5, 2018
— Dan Hellie (@DanHellie) February 6, 2018
If you combine these reports, here’s what you’ve got: Malcolm Butler arrived in Minnesota a day later than the Patriots because he was sick. He had a rough week of practice. He’s believed to have missed curfew because he was at a concert.
We knew the first detail from the start. It was well documented that Butler stayed back in Foxborough because he was sick.
The other two details, however, are new. Because reporters aren’t allowed into practice, there would have been no way to know about his practice performance. And because reporters don’t follow Butler around, there would have been no way to know about his concert attendance.
But even if we had known either detail, would it have seemed like a good idea to sit Butler for the entirety of the Super Bowl?
There’s no way the second-best corner on the roster should have been benched for this shit. You wanna sit him for a series because he broke curfew? Go right ahead. Enforce your team rules. You wanna try out a new package that you practiced all week long? Do that. But once your team is getting skinned alive by a backup quarterback, put that player in the goddamn game. It’s not hard, and the fact that it didn’t happen gives credence to Belichick and Matt Patricia saying that this really was a football decision which, by the way, was also reported by Kirk Minihane:
Source: Benching Butler not a discipline issue. Belichick made the call a few hours before game. Many coaches and players were shocked. Some players and coaches “furious” with Belichick, this is a move that divided the locker room.
— Kirk Minihane (@kirkmin) February 6, 2018
I have no idea how credible Minihane’s sources are, but if his report is accurate … I don’t even know. I’m fuming just thinking about it. I’m still stunned this whole thing’s actually happening. In the biggest game of the year, one of the team’s top defenders wasn’t allowed to play. He was allowed to suit up and hit the field for one punt return, but couldn’t help the team win the football game. Makes no sense. If you want to read all of my thoughts on the situation, check out the post below.
Follow Taylor McCloud on Twitter @tdmcld
Featured image via: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images