When Wes Welker left the Patriots last offseason, it became no secret that he and coach Bill Belichick were not on good terms.
Any chance at reconciliation might be over after Welker's hit on Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib in Denver's 26-16 AFC Championship victory. On the play early in the game, Welker and Talib were crossing over the middle of the field. Welker ducked his head and slammed his shoulder into Talib, injuring his knee ( which was originally reported during the game as a rib injury).
Talib was unable to finish the game as a result.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Belichick made it clear how he felt about the play.
“It was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib,” Belichick said, via ESPNBoston.com. “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. That's all I'll say about that.”
After the game, Welker denied purposefully trying to take out Talib on the play.
Not having Talib for majority of the contest was beneficial for the Broncos. Quarterback Peyton Manning finished the game with 400 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.