Welker said no intent to injure Talib
January, 20, 2014
By Jeff Legwold | ESPN.com
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker, who was held out of three games this season after he suffered two concussions in a four-game span, was adamant following Sunday's win over the New England Patriots that he was not trying to collide with cornerback Aqib Talib.
The collision occurred early in the second quarter when Welker was crossing through the middle of the field and Talib was coming from the opposite direction. Peyton Manning threw an incomplete pass, intended for Demaryius Thomas.
Following the game, Welker said:
"Yeah, it was one of those plays where it's kind of a rough play and I was trying to get him to go over the top, and I think he was thinking the same thing and wanted to come underneath and we just kind of collided. It wasn't a deal where I was trying to hit him or anything like that. I hope he's OK. He's a great player and a big part of their defense."
Patriots coach Bill Belichick took issue with the play at his season wrap-up news conference, calling it "a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib. 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."
No penalty was called on the play, and Talib left the game with what the Patriots announced as rib and knee injuries.
Welker, who played six seasons for Belichick with the Patriots, referenced early after his arrival in Denver the tension that existed with Belichick in his final year with New England. Welker spoke publicly of a different "environment" with the Broncos.
Broncos coach John Fox will almost certainly be asked about Belichick's comments when he speaks at 3 p.m. ET Monday. Several Denver players said that a few Broncos defenders, including cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, had similar collisions with Patriots receivers during the game.
The Broncos were scheduled for meetings Monday, and players were set to begin preparations for the Seattle Seahawks as well as review the game video from Sunday's win.
The team is not expected to return to the practice field until Thursday with an expected departure for the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The Broncos did get some good news on their own injury front. After initial evaluations, running back Knowshon Moreno (chest) and cornerback Tony Carter (check for concussion) are expected to practice in the days leading up to the Super Bowl and be available to play in the game.
Both players left Sunday's game and did not return.