BOSTON (CBS) – Aqib Talib was on the practice field for the Patriots on Wednesday, as the team prepares for a tough matchup against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos Sunday night at Gillette.
After Talib had to leave Monday night’s loss to the Panthers with a lingering hip issue, it was feared the corner may not be able to suit up against the high-powered Broncos. But he sounded rather confident in the Patriots locker room on Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s all right. It tightened up on me at the end of the game, but it’s fine,” said Talib. “I woke up feeling good.”
Tale of the Tape: Patriots vs. Broncos
Talib stopped short at saying he’d play on Sunday, instead giving the ole “day-to-day” status update. He said he would have liked to have finished off his battle with Steve Smith on Monday, but the injury (which held him out of the previous 3 1/2 games) got to be too much.
“It’s over with now. I tried to go through it as much as I could, but if I could have been out there I would have been out there,” he said.
Listen To Talib:
He also said any tiff with Smith was over as soon as the two left the field. Talib was penalized for locking Smith up with his legs in the first half, and the two constantly jawed at each other throughout the game.
Smith got the last laugh, with the Panthers coming out victorious, and took one final shot at Talib after the game, telling the corner to “ice up, son.”
“I’m done with Steve for the year, man,” Talib said with a big smile. “It was a great game and he’s a great competitor; I always enjoy going against Steve”
“It’s never personal,” he added. “I’m sure, if I see Steve, it’ll be, ‘Hey, what’s up? How you doing?’ It’s never personal… I mean, he didn’t say he was going to punch me in my face after the game. He just told me to go get in the tub.”
Talib’s mindset has moved on from Steve Smith with Manning and his arsenal of weapons coming to Gillette on Sunday night. If the hip doesn’t hold him back, Talib will not only have to match up against Demaryius Thomas — who has five of his nine touchdowns in the last four games — but also match wits with one of the smartest quarterbacks in the league.
“It’s more of a game with Peyton. He’s great at reading them defenses, so you have to do a great job trying to disguise what you’re doing,” said Talib. “You have to have a plan — a great plan — with Peyton, as opposed to other quarterbacks.”
“We thought we had some weapons to go against last week? It’s to the next level this week,” he said. “They got weapons at almost every position. We have to put in the work, put in the time.”
Talib wasn’t the only member of an injured Patriots’ secondary on the field on Wednesday. Corner Alfonzo Dennard and safety Steve Gregory were both limited participants in Wednesday’s practice, though neither would say if they were good-to-go for Sunday night.
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