Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: September 14, 12:12 PM ET
Darrelle Revis not cleared for contact
By Rich Cimini
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets star cornerback Darrelle Revis wants to play Sunday against his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers but acknowledged it's not his decision -- and he didn't sound confident about his chances of being cleared by doctors after suffering a concussion last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
"Whatever they say, goes," Revis said Thursday, commenting for the first time since the injury. "I'd 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 wants to go out and play. If I feel fine, which I do, we'll go from there."
According to the NFL, a player with a concussion must be cleared by the team doctor and an independent neurologist before he can return to practice or play in a game.
On Wednesday, Revis was permitted to begin physical activity (running and weightlifting), but he still hasn't been cleared for live contact. He missed two straight days of practice, relegated to riding an exercise bike, but has been attending meetings.
Coach Rex Ryan wasn't nearly as optimistic as he was earlier in the week about Revis' status for Sunday.
"If he's not 100 percent, Darrelle won't play; it's as simple as that," Ryan said Thursday.
Ryan said there would be a decision by Saturday, indicating it wouldn't be prudent to take a concussed player on an airplane.
"By Saturday, we'd better know something, whether he's going or not," Ryan said. "This coach would never put a player out on the field if there's a higher risk of him getting injured. There's no way in heck I'd do it."
Revis, surrounded by reporters at his locker, was subdued as he spoke about the concussion and its aftereffects, saying he was "in a fog" after getting kicked in the back of the head by teammate Bart Scott.
The only thing he remembers about the play was seeing C.J. Spiller run through a hole and trying to arm-tackle him. He fell on his stomach and was accidently kicked in the helmet by Scott, who was pursuing Spiller. Revis joked that he knew right away it was Scott, because of the linebacker's reckless style.
The All-Pro cornerback said he had a headache, but wasn't sure it was concussion-related because he never had been diagnosed with one before. The Jets are calling it a "mild" concussion.
Asked if he's concerned about possible long-term effects, Revis said, "No. No comment."
Revis grew up in Aliquippa, Pa., and attended the University of Pittsburgh. He still has family in Aliquippa, and he has been looking forward to this game. But Revis, 27, also recognizes the severity of concussions. He commended the league for taking the proper steps to improve player safety.
"I feel pretty good -- I feel I can play this week -- but there are some procedures we have to do and guidelines we have to follow before I can step on the field," he said.
If Revis can't play, the Jets will elevate nickel back Kyle Wilson into a starting role, opposite Antonio Cromartie. Seldom-used Ellis Lankster would move into the No. 3 spot. There could be some matchup problems against the Steelers' three receivers, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said there's flexibility in the Jets' game plan to account for the possibility of no Revis.
"We're not going to panic, we have capable backups, whether it's Kyle, whether it's Ellis Lankster or (Isaiah) Trufant," Pettine said. "Any of those guys, they're NFL-caliber players. We're hopeful that he can go. If he doesn't, we'll be prepared. If he goes, then, obviously, he'll be great."
Earlier this week, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin called Revis "the best in the world at what he does."