January 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick before the Patriots play against the Denver Broncos in the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Patriots coach Bill Belichick says Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker deliberately tried to "take out" cornerback Aqib Talib when they collided in the AFC championship game.
Talib hurt his knee on the play early in the second quarter and missed the rest of the game. Denver beat New England 26-16 on Sunday to advance to the Super Bowl.
Belichick on Monday called the play one of the worst he's seen and says Welker made no attempt to get open. On the play, Peyton Manning's pass to Demaryius Thomas fell incomplete.
"It was a deliberate play but the receiver tried to take out Aqib. No attempt to get open," Belichick said. "I'll let the league handle the discipline on that play. it's not for me to decide, but it's one of the worst plays I've seen. And that's all I'm going to say about that."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday, "If there is any discipline for plays in (Sunday's) games, it will be determined by Merton Hanks later in the week."
Hanks is the league's vice president of player operations.
Welker said he was trying to get Talib to go behind him as the two headed for each other across the middle.
"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 said after the game. "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."
Welker spent the previous six years with the Patriots before signing with the Broncos before the season.
Asked why he would send the 5-foot-9 Welker (4 inches shorter) at Talib after sustaining two recent concussions, Fox said: "That's a good question. I don't have an answer to it."
(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)