In his 13 seasons in the NFL, Patriots defensive end Andre Carter has been on the receiving end of enough crackback blocks to know how dangerous a hit can be to an unsuspecting player.

“Sometimes you get caught in the wrong place,” Carter said.

But according to Carter, when Broncos receiver Wes Welker knocked Aqib Talib out of the AFC Championship game Sunday with an open-field pick, it was more than a case of the Patriots defensive back getting “caught in the wrong place.”

“Unfortunately, that was nasty,” Carter said. “I’m sure the NFL will review that and see what they can do to rectify those particular plays. Fortunately, Talib was able to walk, but if it got a lot more serious, who knows what would’ve happened?


“If you step into the wrong place at the wrong time, it can be very devastating. It looked like it was intentional. But the NFL will review it and, hopefully, Talib will just heal and get ready for the following season.”

Early in the second quarter of the Patriots’ 26-16 loss, Talib was covering Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas on a crossing pattern over the middle when Welker, coming out of the slot position from the opposite side of the field, collided with Talib.

Talib injured his left knee on the play and went to the sideline and then the locker room. He returned to the field but did not play again. Afterward, Talib said very little about the play, and he was not in the locker room at Gillette Stadium Monday.

During his season-ending news conference at Gillette Monday, coach Bill Belichick scolded the former Patriots receiver in his opening statement.

“I feel badly for Aqib, the way that play turned out,’’ Belichick said. “I went back and watched it, which I didn’t have a chance to [Sunday]. I think it was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib.