The last time he played in a game was New Year’s Day, 2017, when he returned an interception 51 yards in the season finale against the Bills.
Now, Darrelle Revis returns to MetLife Stadium with the Chiefs on Sunday against the Jets — the team he established his future Hall of Fame career with. Revis had been a free agent before signing with the Chiefs Nov. 22. He was inactive for last week’s game against Buffalo.
It seems fitting that Revis, whom coach Todd Bowles called a legend last week, takes on his former team in his first game back.
“For me personally, I don’t think there’s any ill will, anything to take a stab at or get back at the Jets for any reason,” Revis said in a news conference this week.
How Revis will play and whether he starts is uncertain. He’s never come off the bench in his NFL career and without any minicamp, training camp and missing the first 11 games of the season would seemed to be too much to overcome.
The motivation for coming back is pretty simple from a man who walked in Revis’ shoes many years ago.
“He didn’t have a long layoff . . . it’s like an injury, 11 weeks,” Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders told Newsday this week. “He will be more fresh, fresh legs. They wanted him for the stretch (run). They don’t need him in the beginning. They need him for the Revelation not the Genesis.”
Sanders played 12 seasons with four teams before retiring after the 2000 season with Washington. But in 2004, Sanders returned and played two more seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.
Sanders had five interceptions in those two seasons and while he wasn’t the same player, he was effective.
Will Revis be effective?
“It’s really passion, man,” Sanders said. “Passion is the number one obstacle, that’s it. It’s what you’re playing for and what you want to be.”
The Chiefs started this season 5-0, but have since lost five of six games. Outside of the discussions to replace quarterback Alex Smith, coach Andy Reid has sought a starting right corner opposite the talented Marcus Peters. The Chiefs started three different corners on the right side and currently have Steven Nelson there. Revis might be the third corner against the Jets, or come in on some sort of dime package only.
“I just know that he’s going to be well prepared,” Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. “He’s played a lot of football in his career and played at a pretty high level. I think he’ll be fine. We talked about this a hundred times about people that just are coming back, there’s that reaction time that you can’t duplicate till you’re out there.”
Sanders isn’t worried about whether or not Revis will be fine after the layoff. He knows the future Hall of Famer will be because he was when he came back.
“He was a one of a kind, one of the best corners that ever played the game,” Sanders said. “I don’t view cats (negative) like that, I let people be their own guy. I look for him to go down in history as one of the best players who ever played the game.”