One month ago, he was elected to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time in his career. The accolades got even sweeter this week for Darrelle Revis, who was named Sporting News’ 2013 Comeback Player of the Year for his recovery from a torn ACL.
He becomes the first Buccaneer to win the award, presented annually to the player who best exemplifies perseverance in the face of adversity, since Antonio Bryant in 2008.
Sporting News polled some 500 NFL players, coaches, and executives to determine the winner.
Revis suffered the injury on Sept. 23, 2012 and was forced to miss the remainder of the season. An offseason trade and a six-year, $96 million contract sent him from New York to Tampa Bay.
With it, came tough circumstances.
The team finished 4-12. Head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik were be fired. But Revis played on, starting all 16 games and finishing with 50 combined tackles, two interceptions, 11 pass breakups, and a sack.
More importantly, he shut down opposing receivers.
“That’s the thing you get when you have Revis…You take out that guy and the whole side of the field,” teammate Gerald McCoy said last month after the two were named to the Pro Bowl together. “Coming off a season-ending injury, it takes extreme mental toughness to be able to bounce back and be who you used to be.”
In the case of Revis, while he admitted to not being 100-percent for most of the season last year, he certainly deserves praise for coming awfully close under those circumstances.