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Darrelle Revis: 'I'm playing Sunday'

New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis walks off

New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis walks off the field after practice at training camp in Cortland. (July 29, 2012) Credit: AP

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Darrelle Revis left nothing to interpretation.

In the face of multiple inquiries about his head and his health, the Jets star cornerback allayed fans' fears Thursday with three words: "I'm playing Sunday."

Revis, who was cleared for contact and practiced fully Thursday for the first time since suffering a concussion in the Week 1 win over Buffalo, repeated the phrase in a variety of ways. He smiled each time he tried to put the uncertainty of his game-time status to rest.

"Doctors cleared me, so I'll be playing Sunday," he said, adding that he passed the final test in a long series of hurdles en route to getting back on the field. But as confident as Revis sounded, he admitted he wasn't certain he'd be able to play this week. With concussions, there really is no timetable, he said.

"One day you can feel like you're 100 percent, the other you cannot," he said. "With these concussions, you have to consistently feel 100 percent every day. So I can have a good night's rest and come in the next day with a headache."

Rex Ryan began his morning news conference by saying Revis had been cleared for contact, but the coach refused to give a definitive answer on his status for Week 3 at Miami. For fear of overstepping his bounds, Ryan said he would defer to his medical staff.

But a few hours later, Revis was declaring his status to everyone, including Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Revis said he felt healthy enough Wednesday to practice full contact, "but there's still protocol we had to follow."

He laughed when he told reporters he refused to wear the red non-contact pinnie typically assigned to injured players.

Thursday, he was given his long-awaited clearance from the Jets training staff and an independent neurologist, per NFL rules.

"I actually got a couple jams in on press [coverage] and got physical with some guys, so it was great,'' he said.

His grin grew bigger as he spoke. "Contact actually felt good today,'' a relieved Revis said. "Hitting guys and guys were hitting me back."

The Jets said they felt comfortable heading into last week's game in Pittsburgh without him. But Thursday, no one could deny the advantage his sheer presence provides. With Revis patrolling one side of the field, it allows the Jets to roll coverage away from Revis Island -- a luxury they didn't have in the 27-10 loss to the Steelers.

"When he's not in there, it's a handful of things [that change]," defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said.

The All-Pro cornerback maintained "I'm just one guy" as he stood in front of his locker. But his teammates know better.

"When you speak of cornerbacks in this league, his name is first," safety Yeremiah Bell said. "He's a true shutdown corner, and I think he may be the only one in this league. Him being on or off the field is very significant."

Pettine said Revis was "upset" he couldn't play last week. "But the policy is the policy and we'll obviously adhere to it," Pettine added.

Now Revis is happy to get back to doing what he does best. "I'm there to do my job as I always do," he said. "And that's to compete and play."

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