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Aqib Talib questionable to return after Wes Welker delivers a questionable body blow

01.19.14 at 4:10 pm ET
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Aqib Talib makes a hit on Eric Decker before leaving later due to a pick set by Wes Welker. (AP)

Aqib Talib makes a hit on Eric Decker before leaving later due to a pick set by Wes Welker. (AP)

DENVER — The Patriots No. 1 cornerback is questionable to return after a former Patriot delivered a big body blow.

Aqib Talib left midway through the second quarter after taking a shot from Wes Welker to the right side of his upper body on an incomplete Peyton Manning pass over the middle intended for Demaryius Thomas. He was announced as questionable with a rib injury and then, after halftime, a knee injury was added to the prognosis.

Talib went down immediately and hunched over, holding his stomach and side. He was on the field several minutes as the Patriots training staff tended to him.

Replays showed Welker going low, aiming for his ribs and making contact with Talib’s hip and right side. The Broncos used several crossing routes in the first half to free their receivers but were not call for any pick penalties. Michael Hoomanawanui was called for such a penalty, a key penalty on third down that pushed the Patriots out of field goal position on their third drive.

As the Broncos were driving down the field 93 yards for a touchdown, Talib was escorted by Patriots medical personnel to the locker room. He returned to the end of the Patriots defensive bench on the team’s sideline as the Patriots were driving down the field.

Talib walked up and down the sideline with his helmet on, appearing as if he wanted back in the game, as the Patriots kicked a field goal. But instead, he was led back into the locker room for an early halftime.

Read More: AFC Championship, Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots
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