Butler responded by earning AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors with three takeaways: a pair of interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown, and a fumble recovery.
“He’s a playmaker and had a great game,’’ said Arians. “It builds great confidence for him going up against the challenge that he has this week in coming up there.”
Arians declared cornerback Vontae Davis (knee) and tight end Coby Fleener (shoulder) out against the Patriots, who were missing guards Logan Mankins (ankle/calf) and Dan Connolly (back) in addition to Welker at Wednesday’s practice . . . Patriots linebacker Tracy White, who has been inactive the last four games with an injured foot, and defensive end Trevor Scott, who missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, returned to practice in a limited capacity, along with 11 other players . . . Guard Mitch Petrus, a fifth-round pick of the New York Giants in 2010 out of Arkansas, said there were no awkward feelings about signing with the Patriots, the team he beat to win a Super Bowl ring last year. “It’s a great deal,’’ said Petrus, who left his Super Bowl bling at home for the trip to Foxborough. “I’m really fortunate to be going from one great team to another, that’s for sure. So I’m definitely glad to be in the situation I’m in.’’
Michael Vega can be reached at email@example.com.