New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Revis comes out of the ‘fog’, prepared to play
If it were up to Darrelle Revis, he'd play with a broken leg.
It's the competitive fire that burns within that refuses to miss out on any action -- even if it just happens to be a Week 2 matchup.
The Jets star cornerback -- who happens to also be their best player -- still has yet to be cleared to play for Sunday's showdown with the Steelers. But in his first interview with the media since he was diagnosed with a mild concussion earlier this week, Revis said he's already studying and preparing as if he might get the chance.
"I feel pretty good," he said, his eyes slightly red-rimmed as he spoke in front of his locker Thursday. "I feel like I can play this week. But there's some other things, other procedures we have to do and guidelines we have to follow before I step on the field."
So far, the cornerback has been cleared for physical activity (i.e., running and lifting weights), but no practice contact. He was out on the practice field for the team stretch period Thursday afternoon, but when it was over, he headed over to the stationary bikes.
Jets coach Rex Ryan said he won't allow Revis to fly to his hometown of Pittsburgh Saturday unless the cornerback has been given clearance by the team's medical staff and an independent neurological consultant (per NFL protocol).
Revis said this was the first concussion he's ever suffered in his life.
During the fourth quarter of Sunday's win over Buffalo, he lunged to make a tackle on running back C.J. Spiller. When teammate Bart Scott jumped over Revis, he accidentally kicked him in the head.
At the time, the cornerback just thought he had a headache.
Then, he said: "It was just being in a fog. Never had a concussion, so this is something you've got to get guidance from the training staff and the doctors."
Asked by a reporter if the "fog" has mostly cleared, Revis responded with a laugh: "It's cool. I know who you are."
If Revis is unable to practice Friday that'll raise even more questions about his status for Sunday in Pittsburgh -- a rematch of the 2010 AFC Championship Game.
Asked if he'd be comfortable playing if he were forced to miss practice all week, Revis hesitated slightly.
"I don’t know," he said. "Would I be comfortable? At that point, I don't think you have a choice. I just have to go by what the doctors say.
"...It's not my call. It's the doctors' call. Whatever they say goes. I would try to be out there with a broken leg. I'm sure they know that as well. It's a competitive spirit in me that just wants to go out there and play. If I feel fine, which I do, then we'll go from there."
The Jets, of course are hoping their All Pro corner is cleared to face the Steelers. But if not, they'll plan accordingly.
"The one thing that we've always felt we've had to build into the system was some flexibility," defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said. "That, at the last minute, we could have enough coverages up in the inventory that if we needed to roll a coverage a certain way.
"We would be foolish to think we could just scratch him from the game plan and just go with what we have. But at the same time, we're not going to panic either. We have capable backups, whether it's Kyle (Wilson), whether it’s Ellis Lankster, (Isaiah) Trufant. Any of those guys. They're NFL-caliber players. So again, we're hopeful that he'll go and if he doesn't, we’ll be prepared. And if he goes, then obviously that's great."
Should Revis sit out Sunday, Wilson will slide into his place while Lankster will play Wilson's nickel spot. The substitutions are "not that easy," said Pettine, "but just as far as who's on the field, it would be correct to say that. Position-wise, it'll vary based on the call."