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Aqib Talib injured in collision with Wes Welker

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DENVER — After seemingly taking turns missing time with an assortment of injuries, the members of the Patriots’ defensive secondary went into Sunday’s AFC Championship game as healthy as they had been all season. That was key, considering the Broncos’ potent passing game.

Their good health lasted barely a quarter. Cornerback Aqib Talib, perhaps the most talented defensive back on the team, collided with former Patriots receiver Wes Welker on a pass play early in the second quarter. Talib left the game and did not return; after being escorted by the medical staff to the locker room following the collision, Talib returned to the bench, but never reentered the game.

“If I could be out there, I would have been out there, man,” Talib said.

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