Updated: March 12, 2014, 9:19 PM ET
Jeff Legwold | ESPN.com
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — An already bubbling rivalry got a little more spice tossed in Wednesday when newly-minted Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib said he did not have a hip injury this past season despite being listed on the New England Patriots’ injury report as having one.
Talib, who signed a six-year, $57 million deal with the Broncos Wednesday morning, was asked if the hip injury — one he had been listed with on the Patriots’ injury report during the 2013 regular season — was a concern as he began his Broncos’ tenure.
The cornerback looked somewhat taken aback and said: “That was in Tampa, that was the right side. I haven’t had a hip problem since Tampa. The Patriots have their way of reporting stuff, but I haven’t had a hip problem since Tampa. The injury I had was actually a quad injury, it was reported as a hip injury, but that’s how they do things.”
Teams can be fined by the NFL if the league deems the injury report has been manipulated in some way or an injured player was omitted. The Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins were each fined $20,000 in 2012 for violating the league’s policy on reporting injuries.
Talib missed three games this past season. He missed the final four games of the 2010 season, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when he tore his right hip flexor.
Talib was also asked Wednesday about his health overall, including when he left the Broncos’ win against the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game after he suffered a knee injury — an injury initially announced during the game as a rib injury — in a collision with Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker.
“At 28, I still feel good, I still can do standing backflips and stuff like that, so I feel like I’m in pretty good shape,” Talib said. “The injury in the AFC championship, it was just a deep bone bruise. It just swelled up a lot, but no damage, really. It was just a real deep bruise. I just had to do the ice and get my motion back and things like that. It’s perfectly fine now. I’ve been back working out and it’s perfectly fine.”
The collision with Welker has also been grist in the rivalry mill as well. In his season-ending news conference, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Welker deliberately ran into Talib with “no intent to get open.” Belichick also called the play “one of the worst plays I’ve seen.”
Talib was asked Wednesday if he has spoken to Welker since agreeing to his deal.
“No, not yet, but I’m sure I will,” Talib said. “Wes is a good friend of mine. I watched that play 1,000 times and I can promise you he didn’t do it on purpose.”
Welker collided with Talib in the second quarter of the Broncos’ win and Talib did not return to the game. With the Patriots’ best cover player out, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning finished with 400 yards passing and two touchdowns with 298 of those passing yards coming after Talib left the game.
Welker has consistently said he had no intention of colliding with Talib and the league did not fine Welker for the play.
Talib has never played in 16 games in any of his NFL seasons. Covered Broncos for nine years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
Previously covered Steelers, Bills and Titans
Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Boardof Selectors since 1999