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News Blitz 6/11: Patriots CB Malcolm Butler's OTA absence explained

Malcolm Butler was at the center of the Patriots victory in Super Bowl XLIX and ensuing celebrations.

But Butler has been notable for a different reason in recent weeks as he's been notably absent from the practice field during the OTA sessions that have been open to the media.

The reason for that absence is now seemingly known.

The Boston Herald broke the story late Wednesday afternoon that Butler had arrived late to an OTA session in late May after having his flight to New England cancelled due to weather. As such, Bill Belichick apparently chose to keep Butler from the field during the ensuing weeks of OTA workouts.

In unrelated news, the Herald notes that Rob Gronkowski was one of more than 100 players who had been scheduled to appear at a fantasy football expo in Las Vegas, a plan that's now be squashed by Roger Goodell and the league.

The Boston Globe has a source in the Butler situations saying, "it's a tough lesson learned." The same story highlights that wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who has also been absent from OTA practices, was photographed in a walking boot earlier this week at a charity event in Boston.

The Providence Journal says a "humbled" Jonas Gray has his sights set on opening night in New England, while also passing along its own version of the Butler report.

Like the rest of the Butler stories, ESPNBoston.com notes that the cornerback has attended all the various aspects of the recent OTAs other than the on-field work and has had a good attitude about the whole situation. The site also has a film study of wide receiver Brandon Gibson, a free agent addition in New England who seems to be flying under the radar.

CSNNE.com continues its series of the best 50 players of the Belichick era with cornerback Otis Smith at No. 48. The site's Phil Perry also breaks down how tight end Fred Davis might be ready to advantage of the second chance he's been given in New England.

NFL.com lists Gronkowski as No. 2 on the list of "most indispensable offensive players." The list excludes quarterbacks, and No. 87 seems a little low from this vantage point.

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