Later today, the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will be part of the first of many traditions of the week leading up to the Super Bowl: media day. Both teams' players will visit Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul for a one-hour session with members of the press (including our very own Rich Hill). The Patriots will go first and start at 8:10 p.m. ET, with the Eagles' session starting not quite two hours later.
All players are mandated to be at the session except when they dealing with injuries like the one suffered by New England's Rob Gronkowski and Deatrich Wise Jr.. Both are currently in the concussion protocol and as a result will not take part in the event. Something similar holds true for Malcolm Butler, as the Patriots announced earlier today:
Malcolm Butler has an illness and will not be present at Super Bowl Opening Night
The priority at this point in time, of course, is to get Butler healthy again and not drag him in front of the media. The former undrafted free agent will start at perimeter cornerback on Sunday and would have been one of the 11 members of his team to have a spot at one of the podiums.
In his place, fellow defensive back Patrick Chung will sit at a podium. New England's lineup for today's event therefore looks as follows:
WR Danny Amendola
OC David Andrews
QB Tom Brady
SS Patrick Chung
WR Brandin Cooks
CB Stephon Gilmore
FS Duron Harmon
FS Devin McCourty
ST Matthew Slater
RB James White
Except Gronkowski all of the Patriots’ team captains will be at the podiums tonight, together with core players Amendola, Chung, Cooks, Gilmore, White.