Aqib Talib: Nick Mangold's low hit wasn't dirty
Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib said Wednesday that he saw nothing wrong with a low tackle by Jets center Nick Mangold that ignited a late-game incident Thursday night.
Talib added that his absence from the Patriots' practice on Monday was due to a family emergency, not an injury sustained on the questionable play.
"I thought he kind of dove a little early. He started to dive when I was in bounds and I kind of went out of bounds at the end of his dive. I didn't see it as dirty," Talib told ESPN. "I haven't seen it too many times, but I'm good. I ain't worried about it."
"I came out of the game healthy," he said.
After Talib intercepted a Geno Smith pass, Mangold lunged at his knees near the Patriots sideline. Talib appeared to slow down in an attempt to avoid Mangold, perhaps leading to the center striking his knees.
Jets coach Rex Ryan understood the penalty, but did not believe that Mangold made a dirty play.
“As it played out I can understand, because the hit ends up being, as the guy goes out of bounds his back turns to him,” Ryan said, “so he hits him out of bounds. So I understand the penalty -- but it wasn’t intentional by any stretch.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick and other players and coaches reacted to the play, leading to ejections of Jets offensive linemen Willie Colon and D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Mangold also was flagged for a personal foul. The league reportedly is reviewing the incident, including Colon allegedly shoving an NFL game official.