New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib was a key component in his team’s success this season, but was forced to leave the AFC championship game against Denver due to what the team said was a rib injury, but then said was actually a knee injury.
Denver faced second-and-9 on its own 19-yard line when Peyton Manning's pass to receiver Demariyus Thomas was incomplete. During that play, Broncos receiver Wes Welker threw a block on Talib, which resulted in the injury. It was one of several chippy plays between receivers and defensive backs during the first half.
Talib laid on the ground for a few moments before walking off the field. He walked off the field without any help, and appeared to be limping. Talib was later examined by team doctors in the locker room. After initially calling it a rib injury, the Patriots reported a knee ailment:
Denver proceeded to score when Manning threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Tamme later in the drive that Talib sustained the injury. That score gave Denver a 10-0 lead.
Talib returned to New England's sideline, tried to warm up but ran back to the locker room at the two-minute warning. Talib has not fared well in AFC championship games.
Last season, Talib sustained a thigh injury during the first quarter of New England’s loss against Baltimore. Talib's bad luck continued with another injury on Sunday.
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- Aqib Talib
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