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Aqib Talib travels to California for second opinion on back injury

Posted Nov 3, 2016

Cornerback Aqib Talib missed practice Thursday as the Broncos looked to get a second opinion on his back injury.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --  Cornerback Aqib Talib missed practice Thursday after the Broncos sent him to California for a second opinion on a back injury that held him out of last week’s game against the Chargers.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak said the team “thought it’d be best to get another opinion” on the injury.

“We’ll be evaluating when he gets back tonight,” Kubiak said. “We talked to the people in California and we’ll see where we’re at tomorrow. But it’s a day-to-day situation, and we just thought it’d be best to get another opinion.”

Kubiak said Talib has not been ruled out of Sunday night’s game in Oakland, and the team would continue to evaluate the situation throughout the week.

“I got good vibes [about Talib's California trip] from what ‘Greek’ [Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos] told me on the field a while ago from the visit,” Kubiak said. “But I know there are some people that have got to get together and talk this through and make sure we know exactly where he’s at.”

Talib was on his way back to Denver early Wednesday afternoon, said Kubiak, who declined to comment on the specifics.

“I’m not a doctor,” Kubiak said. “I just know he’s got an issue going on with his back. There’s good days and bad days. So he feels really good, here we go. And then it bothers him again, stiffens up on him. So we’re battling through it and felt like the best thing to do was get another opinion on it.”

Kubiak said he did not know if Talib suffered the injury during a specific play in a previous game. Through seven games, Talib has recorded 11 pass defenses, three interceptions and a touchdown.

Should Talib miss Sunday’s game, the Broncos have plenty of options to help slow the Raiders’ potent passing attack. Chris Harris will again help to lead the unit, as he did last week when Talib missed the Broncos’ win over San Diego. Depth players stepped up, as well. Bradley Roby was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after his 49-yard pick-six, and Lorenzo Doss made a key pass breakup on a fourth-down, goal-line stand.

“To me, Bradley plays as a starter,” Kubiak said. “When you’re playing against Zebra football teams — or I should say three-wide, four-wide football teams — you think of him as a starter. It just bumps everybody up. Doss will have to be ready to go if Aqib can’t go. It gets into the depth of your roster, which we feel like we’ve got a good, deep team so some of these young kids [will need] to step up.”