Darrelle Revis finally has been cleared for contact – an indication that he's passed the final hurdle in his quest to get back on the field.
The Jets' star cornerback has been sidelined since the fourth quarter of their Week 1 win over Buffalo due to a concussion. At the time, the team labeled it as "mild," but Revis was forced to stay home while the team flew to Pittsburgh this past weekend. The Jets lost 27-10.
Revis was limited Wednesday in practice, but Rex Ryan said the cornerback will be able to practice fully Thursday – a welcome relief for fans who watched Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger pick apart the Jets' defense.
The change in Revis has been evident over the past few days, going from a guy who was “in a fog” after Bart Scott’s foot connected with his helmet, to a jovial player who was engaged with the media and itching to get back on the field.
But despite the progress he has made, Ryan was hesitant to say Revis definitely would play against Miami. “We’ll see what that means later in the week,” the coach said of Revis’ status.
Though defensive lineman Mike DeVito said Tuesday during his weekly radio spot on WFAN that the Jets didn’t alter their defensive scheme to account for Revis’ absence at Heinz Field, Ryan said Thursday that he had different games plans “one way or another.”
The real question, of course, is how Revis will respond in the next few days. But his presence on the field – and more importantly, his full participation – is a major boost for a defense that currently is tied for 16th having allowed 360.5 yards per game.
And No. 24 gives the Jets an undeniable psychological advantage heading into a must-win divisional game at Sun Life Stadium.
Said Ryan: “You feel good having the best player.”
In other injury news: TE Dustin Keller (hamstring) will be limited -- a positive sign, considering he did not practice Wednesday. S Eric Smith (hip/knee) also will be limited.
Rookie DE Quinton Coples will not practice due to illness.* Neither will LB Bryan Thomas (who missed Sunday's loss due to a hamstring injury), FB John Conner (knee) and CB Ellis Lankster, who Ryan said injured his lower back in Wednesday's practice.
(*Updated note: Coples did in fact practice. Ryan, who alerted the media to Coples’ presence on the field, said the rookie would practice fully. In the locker room, Coples said he was bothered by allergies and had to get medication.)