Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis took a critical next step in his knee rehabilitation Monday, participating full-speed in team periods for the first time since suffering a torn ACL September 24 of last year.
Up until this point, Revis has only participated in positional drills and 7-on-7s, but on Monday he worked with the first-team defense throughout practice, including lining up against the team’s number-one receiver, Vincent Jackson.
“I went up against him twice and even in team period…we did a lot of run today, run-team stuff, but, yeah, I was out there. There weren’t any problems. He was coming at me full speed like the big guy he is and I was out there just playing,” said Revis after practice.
“That’s the most work that I’ve done, which is great. [I’m] taking it one day at a time and just trying to get as many reps as I can. Today my knee has been feeling good and it’s good for me to get into team activities and get out there and start running with the team.”
Revis traveled to New England with the team last week to practice but did not play against the Patriots Friday night. He has yet to see any playing time this preseason, and his status to play in Saturday’s third preseason game at Miami is still up in the air, although as of right now, it’s looking like a ‘no.’
“I just don’t feel like he has to. Now, if he wants to because he wants to do that or if he wants to play in the Washington game for that matter, I’m fine with it, but I don’t need to see him do that,” said head coach Greg Schiano.
“Just coming off this major knee injury, you have to be [cautious] a little bit, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Revis. “We don’t want any setbacks. I want to be out there all 16 games to be able to compete and win games out there for this team.”
Going full-speed Monday was a big step in getting there, even if there was no contact permitted. He hopes to continue getting as many reps during practice between now and the regular season opener against the New York Jets, which remains the goal.
“I think the biggest thing is practice. Getting those reps in, getting your legs up under you. I think that’s the biggest thing. The game is the game. You’ve got to go out there and give it your all and just play. I have a lot of experience in that area, I’ve played in a lot of games. I think practice, you need that chemistry with your teammates and you just need to get your legs up under you.”
Revis said there was no soreness or swelling at the end of practice, a good indicator of his progress towards regaining form and returning to his confident, aggressive style of play, even when the bullets are flying.
“I’m confident. It’s day-to-day, but I’m confident. It’s still weeks away and we still have time. We still have time for my knee to even get better and better, so I think that’s just how we have to approach it and look at it.”