CB Malcolm Butler does not start for Patriots
The New England Patriots had a surprise in store for Super Bowl LII on Sunday.
Malcolm Butler did not start at cornerback when the Patriots began on defense for the Philadelphia Eagles’ opening drive of the game. Instead, Eric Rowe started at corner along with Stephon Gilmore.
Even when the Patriots went into their dime package Butler was not on the field, as noted by several reporters.
Pats were actually in dime. DBs: Gilmore, McCourty, Harmon, Chung, Rowe and Richards. No Butler. https://t.co/Ii4vMKwSRV
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 4, 2018
Malcolm Butler, who had an illness earlier in the week and arrived at the Super Bowl one day later than the team. opens the game on sideline in place of Eric Rowe in Big Nickel package.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) February 4, 2018
Butler had an illness early in Super Bowl week and arrived a day later than the rest of the team, so perhaps his illness played a role in him not playing on the opening drive.
Rowe was originally drafted by the Eagles and played for them as a rookie before joining the Pats. The Eagles targeted him a few times on the opening drive of the game.