In the first quarter of the New England Patriots' matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, cornerback Aqib Talib was forced to the locker room with a thigh injury.
The news came from Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole:
Talib leaves field for locker room after running off field awkwardly. Looked to be grabbing his hamstring.
— Jason Cole (@JasonColeYahoo) January 21, 2013
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora provided the update that it was, in fact, Talib's thigh:
It's officially a thigh for Talib. His return is questionable
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 21, 2013
So far, the Patriots defense has contained Joe Flacco and the Ravens with ease, holding them to three punts in three drives, but this has the potential to be a crushing blow.
While New England is always known for having a weak secondary, it got considerably better when the Pats acquired Talib from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Moreover, the often-criticized veteran was arguably the most important Patriots defender coming into this game. Not only is he obviously talented and capable of providing lockdown coverage, but Talib was generally matched up with Anquan Boldin, who has given the Ravens 11 catches, 216 yards and a score in two playoff games this year.
In Talib's stead, Kyle Arrington will have to play better than he has typically shown (against speedster Torrey Smith) this season while Alonzo Dennard moves over to cover Boldin on the other side.
It's a windy day, which makes passing the ball difficult, but this will still be a tough injury to overcome for New England.
We'll be sure to keep you updated as more becomes known regarding Talib's status.