During the second quarter of last year’s AFC Championship, won by Denver 26-16, Welker's block on then-Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib on a pass play intended for Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas put Talib out of the game with a bruised knee, prompting Belichick to call the hit, “one of the worst plays I’ve seen.”
Beliclick said Welker’s block was a deliberate attempt to try to injure Talib, and Welker made no attempt to get open on the play.
The NFL disagreed with Belichick, saying that the block was legal.
“Way past that,” Belichick said, according to The Associated Press. “I have a lot of respect for Wes and what he did for us and what he’s done for the Broncos and what he’s done throughout his career.”
Welker played six seasons in New England, earning five Pro Bowl selections and being named an AP first-team All Pro twice, before signing a two-year deal worth $12 million with Denver in 2013.
“I moved on to getting ready for the Super Bowl,” Welker said. “So, it’s the same for me. It’s in the past and I’m just really kind of looking forward to this game.”
This season, Welker has 19 catches for 181 yards and one touchdown.
Talib said he has gotten over the play, too, saying this offseason that Welker was a good friend.
"I watched that play 1,000 times and I can promise you he didn't do it on purpose,” Talib told The Associated Press.
- Scooby Axson