FOXBORO, Mass. — Despite the scrappiness between Aqib Talib and Steve Smith on Monday night, the Patriots cornerback said the back and forth was not personal.
Talib and Smith have a history. When Talib was with the Buccaneers, he and the Panthers receiver went at it twice a year. It appeared it nearly came to blows a couple of times on Monday Night Football.
“Never personal, man,” Talib said. “It’s never personal. I’m sure if I see Steve, it’d be, ‘What’s up, how you doing?’ It’s never personal, man. Him and that other guy from St. Louis [Janoris Jenkins], that was personal. He didn’t say he was going to punch me in my face after the game. He just told me to go get in the tub.”
After the game, Smith told Talib to “Ice up, son.” Talib had no response to those comments.
“Of course not,” Talib said. “I’m done with Steve for the year, man. Great game, great competitor, man. I always enjoy going against Steve.”
Talib left the game against the Panthers with a hip injury. He had missed the Patriots’ three previous games after injuring the hip earlier this season.
“It’s all right. It’s all right,” Talib said. “It tightened up on me a little bit toward the end of the game. It’s fine, though. Feeling good.”
The Patriots will need Talib on Sunday night. He typically matches up with a team’s No. 1 receiver. In this game, that would likely be Demaryius Thomas.