BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Cornerback Malcolm Butler's Super Bowl week got off to a different start than the rest of the New England Patriots: He stayed behind in Massachusetts with an illness before arriving on Tuesday, one day after his teammates.
"They told me I just had some flu-like symptoms and just needed to rest up a little bit," Butler said after the team's first practice of the week. "I'm good to go."
Butler, who was still limited in practice on Wednesday, said the illness had him visiting the hospital on two different days.
"I wasn't there overnight, just took some visits to make sure I was OK. The training staff and coaches made sure that I was good to go before I made any moves," he said.
Butler has played in every game this season for the Patriots. He logged 97.8 percent of the defensive snaps, as his durability and availability was relied upon with two of the team's other top corners -- Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe -- missing multiple games with injuries.
Butler is celebrating an anniversary of sorts on Thursday. His game-saving interception in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks came on Feb. 1, 2015. That was the day the undrafted free agent from West Alabama went from relatively unknown player to Patriots hero.
Of his underdog story, Butler said, "I've been counted out all my life ... so it's just the will of the fight. You're going to have to fight. It's the NFL. Going undrafted, Division II [in college], it was a long journey to get here. So I continue to fight and I'm here right now."