It may sound old by now, but it’s probably best that another star player for the New England Patriots takes it easy. This time, that player is Aqib Talib, who has missed the last two games with a hip injury. Well, he should probably miss his third straight game.
Talib has been nothing short of fantastic when he’s been healthy. He’s arguably a top-three cornerback in the NFL right now. In fact, Talib was in the midst of his most impressive performance when he went down with the hip injury. The man was actually shutting out New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, which no other defender has done in 2013.
Basically, Talib is used to shut down the No. 1 option on the opposing offense. It doesn’t matter if that player is a wide receiver or a tight end. Having such a weapon makes the Patriots defense a formidable one. But losing such a weapon can make the defense mortal.
That’s why it’s best to let Talib sit out the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. If he plays, there’s no guarantee that Talib would even be 100-percent healthy. So he might get burned more than Patriots fans are accustomed to seeing. It’s either that or Talib risks further injury, which is something that nobody wants to see.
Besides, this is not a game in which Talib’s presence is absolutely needed. Ben Roethlisberger has been struggling this season, mostly due to a lack of weapons and pass protection. So that means that the healthy defensive backs can cover most of the struggling Pittsburgh wide receivers.
The biggest benefit to this is that Talib can use the upcoming bye week to get healthy. His presence will be needed for the stretch run of the season.