2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Patriots CB Talib looks forward to possible return

    2013-11-14 16:07

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - For a guy who loves to talk on the field, New England's Aqib Talib sure has been quiet lately.

The Patriots cornerback injured his hip in the Patriots' win against New Orleans on Oct. 13 and missed the next three games. He hadn't spoken after practice until Thursday, when he said he's eager to return to the field Monday night for New England's game against the Carolina Panthers.

''I'm practicing good,'' Talib said, with a wide grin. ''Day to day. Trying to get back.''

Fresh off the Patriots' bye last week, Talib was a limited participant in Thursday's practice. That's the same designation he's had for a while, and he said watching his teammates play without him was ''the worst thing in the world.''

Coach Bill Belichick was more candid than usual when asked about the player who leads the team with four interceptions and who's been solely responsible for shutting down some of the league's elite pass catchers.

''He's continued to progress. We'll keep doing, as they can tolerate it, do more and evaluate how they do at a little bit higher level,'' Belichick said. ''Then if that goes well, then ramp it up and see where we are as we go through the week.''

New England's secondary withstood the absence of its top playmaker, going 2-1 during the stretch. The Patriots (7-2) could benefit from his return against the Panthers (6-3), who have won five straight games and scored 30 or more points in five of their past seven.

''Unbelievable player, happy to have him on the field with us,'' said defensive end Rob Ninkovich. ''I think the guys that stepped in when he was gone, they did a great job, but having him back is just going to help us as far as have more depth and keep guys rolling.''

Should Talib return for New England's only Monday night game this season, he likely will be matched up with one of the most successful receivers of the past decade in Steve Smith.

Talib, who spent his first four-plus seasons playing in the NFC South with Tampa Bay, is familiar with the flashy veteran.

''He brings it every Sunday or Monday or whenever the game is,'' Talib said. ''I think if you're competitive like that, you're going to be pretty successful.''

Smith has tallied more than 800 receptions and 11,000 yards in his career, and has a team-high 42 catches for 450 yards and three touchdowns this season.

Talib knows exactly what to expect from Smith - his best effort and a lot of chatter.

''You've got a lot of guys who do a lot of talking to (the media), and we get out there and they don't say too much on the field,'' Talib said. ''But Steve is definitely one of those guys, he's going to do it on the field.''

Not unlike Talib.

''Yeah,'' he said with a smile, ''I say a couple words.''

Shadowing the opposition's top threat is becoming commonplace for Talib.

Julio Jones was near the top of the league in every major category when Talib held him to a season-low six catches. He caught just three of his first 10 for 22 yards.

The following week, Talib's talents helped limit Cincinnati's A.J. Green to five catches for 61 yards. Green now leads the league in yards and ranks second in receptions.

And still to come was his premier performance, spearheading an effort to shut down New Orleans' tight end Jimmy Graham, who tops all receivers with 10 touchdowns but was held without a catch against New England for the first time in a span of 46 games.

Belichick went so far as to compare Talib to former Patriots' cornerback Ty Law.

''Maybe Ty would be similar in that he was a good corner and you could put him on a lot of players and not maybe feel like you need to give him a lot of help,'' he said. ''I think Talib is a guy that we have a lot of confidence in and probably would treat his matchups a little bit differently than we've treated some other ones in the past.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

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