New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib suffered an injury in the AFC Championship Game for the second consecutive year and was unable to make an impact in the second half.
Talib’s injury Sunday occurred when Denver Broncos wide receiver and former Patriots star Wes Welker ran into him on a passing play during the second quarter. Talib left the game soon after and didn’t return, which made it easier for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning to pick apart the New England secondary.
On Monday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick ripped Welker’s actions.
“I think it was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib,” Belichick told reporters. “No attempt to get open. I’ll let the league handle the discipline on that play, whatever they decide. It’s one of the worst plays I’ve seen.”
Later in the day, Broncos head coach John Fox defended his receiver and said there was no plan to intentionally injure an opposing player.
“I don’t think I can comment on that other than I know Wes Welker is a great player. High integrity,” Fox said. “I can say that we were not doing anything with intent, so that’s really the only comment I have.”
Fox’s comments are no surprise. Even if he would like to address Belichick’s harsh comments, it’s best for him and the Broncos to move on and prepare for a talented Seattle Seahawks team in Super Bowl XLVIII. Extra distractions stemming from past incidents are the last thing Fox needs with his team.