The Patriots are optimistic about the status of Aqib Talib for Monday's game against Carolina. Talib also spoke to the media for the first time since injuring his hip in week 6 against the New Orleans Saints. He talked to the Boston Herald about his likely match up against Steve Smith.
“Definitely, Steve does his talking on the field,” Talib said. “You’ve got a lot of guys who do their talking to (the media), and then they get out there and they don’t say too much on the field. Steve is definitely one of those guys, he’s going to do it on the field.”
Talib likes to get in his assignments heads, and this week is no different. And it seems that the louder he jabs, the better he plays, and the Patriots can't complain about the results so far, as he's shut down some of the best in the game this year. And the players are singing his praises.
“Aqib is an unbelievable player,” defensive end Rob Ninkovich said. “I’m happy to have him out there on the field with us. I think the guys that stepped up when he was gone, they did a great job, but having him back is going to help us as far as having more depth and keep guys rolling.”
If he does play, his match up against Steve Smith of the Panthers will be key for the Patriots defense. Talib is no stranger to blanketing the opponents #1 receivers. If there are any concerns for Talib, it would be how the long layoff would affect him and if there will be any rust. I think he'll be ready, though. And that means trouble for Steve Smith.