Ten months after his knee injury, Darrelle Revis finally returns
Darrelle Revis has played in 79 career games, been to four Pro Bowls and earned All-Pro honors three times. And yet, as he lay in bed Wednesday night on the eve of training camp, this accomplished football player was, well, nervous.
“I didn’t sleep good last night,” Revis said today, after completing his first practice since suffering a torn knee ligament last year. “I think it was just being anxious. I had butterflies for the first day of practice, to get back out there, not knowing what the outcome was going to be.”
For Revis, traded from the Jets to Tampa Bay in April in the offseason’s biggest transaction, it was a mostly uneventful morning. He did some individual drills and matched up with receivers only during a half-speed deep-ball drill.
But it was a landmark event given where Revis was last September, sprawled on the turf with a knee that would require surgery and extensive rehab. Now in the final stages of his recovery from that torn ACL, Revis is getting back to what he’s missed all these months.
“It was great,” he said. “I’ve been looking forward to this day since I’ve been injured. It was awesome to be out there with my teammates and be out there with my coaches doing what I love doing.”
One of the keys to his readiness will be how the Bucs and Revis handle his return. He won’t do much for the time being, like today. But his involvement in practice will slowly be ramped up, coach Greg Schiano said.
At times, Revis, 28, might resist. He’ll want to do more, go further. He readily admits as much. But he’s got the maturity to concede when necessary, he said.
The plan, he said, “is to ease me in and go from there, take it day by day. If it’s best for me to be healthy for Sept. 8 (the season opener), then that’s what it has to be. It’s all on Coach. I think we’re all on the same page here. I think the biggest thing is they might have to hold me back because I’m such a competitor. I’m so anxious to get out there and compete.”
Limited as his involvement was, Revis felt a part of something. And that’s a feeling he hasn’t enjoyed in quite some time. He played only two games last season, and he was sidelined for all offseason workouts, watching but not participating in OTAs and minicamp.
“When I was hurt, I would still go to the games to support my teammates in New York,” he said. “It was a different point of view sitting in the stands instead of being out there on the sidelines. It kind of felt like I wasn’t a part of the team. It was weird.”
Today, Revis finally moved past that point.