Without Talib, the Patriots failed to adequately cover Demaryius Thomas for the rest of the match as the Broncos sealed a 26-16 victory, and Gregory was in no doubt that his side were significantly weakened by Talib's absence.
"Definitely, big time. Aqib's a heck of a football player for us. He matches up against what we consider the top receiver week in and week out," Gregory told reporters.
"He's a leader, he's a competitive guy, a guy that's going to go out and give you everything he's got, so you never want to lose a guy like that. But at the same time, other guys have to step up like we've done all year.
"By no means is it easy to replace a guy like Aqib so, yeah, it was tough to see him go down."
The incident marked the second consecutive year that Talib had been injured in the AFC championship game, having also gone down in last season's match against the Baltimore Ravens.