New England Patriots put Malcolm Butler on injured reserve

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots placed veteran cornerback Malcolm Butler on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season and comeback attempt with the franchise where he became a Super Bowl hero seven years ago.

Butler, 32, suffered a hip injury, a source said. Butler had started Thursday’s Patriots preseason opener, playing 23 snaps and recovering a fumble, but hasn’t practiced since.

Butler, who was no longer a footballer in 2021, signed a two-year contract with the Patriots in March. He was part of a group of players trying to fill the void left by JC Jackson’s departure to the Los Angeles Chargers as a free agent, coaching primarily as a backup behind veterans Jalen Mills, Terrance Mitchell and Jonathan Jones.

Butler was the hero in the team’s 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. His last-minute goal-line interception is one of the most iconic plays in franchise and NFL history.

Butler surprisingly didn’t play defense in a 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. He continued to play with the Tennessee Titans and never thought he would end up back in New England.

“One thing I’ve learned, you never burn your bridges. You handle situations as a man, as an adult. If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to come back here,” he said upon his return.

In addition to Butler, the Patriots placed fourth-year cornerback Joejuan Williams on injured reserve with a right shoulder injury. Williams was a long shot to make the squad. New England Patriots put Malcolm Butler on injured reserve

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