FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts — The New England Patriots placed veteran cornerback Malcolm Butler on the injured reserve on Tuesday, ending his season and attempt to comeback 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 in the Patriots’ preseason opener, playing 23 snaps and recovering from a fumble, but hadn’t practiced since.
Butler, who no longer played football in 2021, signed a two-year contract with the Patriots in March. He was part of a group of players vying to fill the void left by JC Jackson’s departure as a free agent to the Los Angeles Chargers, mainly practicing as a backup behind veterans Jalen Mills, Terrance Mitchell and Jonathan Jones.
Butler was the hero of the team’s 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. His last-minute interception at the goal line is one of the iconic plays in franchise and NFL history.
Surprisingly, in a 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Butler didn’t play in defense. He went on to play with the Tennessee Titans and never thought he would eventually land back in New England.
“I’ve learned one thing: you never burn down your bridges. You handle situations like a man, like an adult. If I didn’t, I don’t think I’d have a chance to come back here,” he said. him on his return.
In addition to Butler, the Patriots placed fourth-year cornerback Joejuan Williams on the injured reserve. Williams was a long shot to make the selection.