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.
Denver faced second-and-9 on its own 19-yard line when Peyton Manning completed a pass to receiver Demariyus Thomas. During that play, Patriots 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.
Injury Update from the Patriots' bench: Aqib Talib has a rib injury & his return is questionable. #NEvsDEN
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 19, 2014
It looked like New England's team doctors were originally examining Talib's leg, but the team later announced it was a rib injury.
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 sidelines, 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 the rib injury, or whatever he really injured, on Sunday.
- - - - - - -