football

Details surface on Malcolm Butler's SB benching

Belichick initially said it was a football-specific decision after the loss, but on Monday he said there's more to his decision without disclosing details.


Kahron Spearman


The most significant mystery of Super Bowl LII was Bill Belichick's benching of cornerback Malcolm Butler. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, it was a confluence of events that created the scenario. 

Though Belichick said it was a football-specific decision after the game, on Monday, he said there's more to it but that ultimately it led to his final decision, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (h/t Bleacher Report.)

I appreciate the question, but it would be a much longer discussion. There are a lot of things that go into that. In the end, the final decision is what I said it was.

The cornerback played a team-high 98.1 percent of snaps on the defensive side of the ball during the regular season and playoffs, per Pro Football Reference, up until the zero snap count in the Super Bowl loss.

Even if he had practiced terribly, he arrived getting over flu-like symptoms. Perhaps he missed curfew, but that wouldn't explain benching for the entire Super Bowl.

This likely means that the "much longer discussion" necessitate more than even what Rapoport is reporting.

SOU  RCES