While it won't ease the pain of an AFC Championship Game loss, Aqib Talib got some good news about his knee: there's no structural damage.
That's according to Nick Underhill of MassLive.com.
A source told MassLive.com that Talib was "just banged up" after Wes Welker's illegal hit on Talib that knocked him out of the game for good early in the second quarter.
That's the same hit that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick called "deliberate" and "one of the worst plays I've seen" a day after the game on Monday. The hit went uncalled on the field.
Talib proved to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL this season - when he was healthy, that is. He's dealt with numerous injuries since he was traded to the Patriots last season, mostly involving his hip. His importance to the defense was very clear in both seasons and heading into the AFC Championship Game against Denver. When he left, the Broncos made it a point to go after Alfonzo Dennard, who was overmatched against Demaryius Thomas.
Talib was also injured in last year's AFC Championship Game against the Ravens, and again the Pats D was exposed.
Talib is heading into free agency, so not having to deal with a serious knee injury is huge for his future contract negotiations.