In his Monday morning press conference, Patriots coach Bill Belichick called Wes Welker's hit on Aqib Talib in the AFC Championship Game "one of the worst plays I've seen," and that Welker made "no attempt to get open."
The Broncos receiver was running a route over the middle early in the second quarter and set what appeared to be an illegal pick on Talib, though no penalty was called.
Talib injured his knee on the play and did not return to the game. Denver led 3-0 at the time and scored a touchdown on the drive to make it 10-0.
Welker, who caught four passes for 38 yards on Sunday, said after the game he wasn't trying to injure Talib.
“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,” Welker told the Boston Herald. “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.”
BB: "I think it was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib. No attempt to get open...."
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) January 20, 2014
BB continued (Welker hit on Talib): " I'll let the league handle discipline on that play. ... That's one of the worst plays I've seen." — Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) January 20, 2014