FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- This Darrelle Revis-Randy Moss showdown came out of nowhere, two months ahead of schedule, but there will be no shortage of juice. Revis made sure of that Wednesday, basically saying Moss quit in Week 2 against the New York Jets.
In Revis' mind, the "Slouch" lives.
"In the second half, you could tell he was putting his foot on the brake," said the Jets' star cornerback, looking forward to facing the Minnesota Vikings Monday night. "I mean, everybody knows that's Randy. Sometimes he plays 100 percent, sometimes he doesn't."
Revis-Moss wasn't supposed to occur until Dec. 6 at New England, but things change quickly in the NFL. On Wednesday morning, as the Jets were heading out to the practice field, the Vikings completed a stunning trade for Moss. If Revis' cranky hamstring obliges, he expects to be covering his longtime rival, man-to-man, just like always.
That alone would be a big story, but Revis made it a bigger headline by questioning Moss' effort. In that game, Moss beat Revis for a 34-yard touchdown late in the first half, a brilliant, one-handed catch -- the play in which Revis pulled his hamstring. Relegated to the trainer's room for the rest of the day, Revis saw teammate Antonio Cromartie hold Moss to no catches for the remainder of the Jets' 28-14 victory.
Revis, who referred to Moss as a "slouch" in an offseason TV interview, was asked Wednesday if he saw any slouch in Moss. He said Moss "came out full force," but succumbed to frustration and seemed disinterested in the second half.
"You can tell, you can see the effort," Revis said. "Playing football, you can see the body language and effort of people. If a guy's going hard or a guy is hesitant ... that's the way football is, the truth comes out. You could see it in that game."
The rivalry that doesn't need extra hype just got an unexpected jolt. The only question is whether Revis, sidelined the last two games, will make his return Monday night.
Rex Ryan said he's confident that both Revis and outside linebacker Calvin Pace (broken foot) will be able to play, but Revis didn't sound as definitive as his coach. He was limited in practice, saying he "felt good" on the field but admitting his hamstring was "a little sore" after the workout.
"My mind is telling me I'm ready to play, but my hamstring is day-to-day," Revis said.
The Jets want to be ultra-cautious with the most important hamstring on the team, lest it become a season-long issue. At the time of the injury, team doctors projected a four-week healing period. By Monday night, it will be 22 days.
"With this injury, it's 100 percent or no go," said Revis, claiming he wouldn't have been ready to play if the game were Wednesday.
The Moss factor will have a big impact on how the Jets approach the game. If Revis plays, will they assign him to Moss the entire game? (Revis thinks so.) Will they reduce the wear and tear on Revis by limiting him to one side of the field, as they did in Week 1? Will they put Cromartie on Moss, considering how well he played in the last meeting?
"I'll cover anybody man-to-man," Cromartie said.
Ryan said it was too early to project Revis' role for the game. Ryan admitted that, with Moss suddenly in view, he feels pressure to get Revis back on the field. But the coach insisted he won't play Revis until he's ready.
"I was hoping they would have waited a week" to make the trade, Ryan said. "That would've been much nicer."
When he first learned of the trade, Ryan's reaction was, "There goes sleeping well this week." Revis started hearing the rumors Tuesday night, when his Twitter followers sent him messages.
"A lot of fans were coming at me, saying I better get my hamstring ready for Monday night," he said.
No word on whether one of the messages came from @RealRexRyan.
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.