Sunday, April 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Revis might be game-time decision

TAMPA — The earliest the Bucs might know if CB Darrelle Revis will play Sunday against the Panthers is pregame warmups.

Revis, who strained his groin against the Lions, participated in a walkthrough but did not practice Thursday for the second straight day.

"We'll know more (today)," coach Greg Schiano said. "It is an injury where rest helps it."

If Revis cannot play, the Bucs will have to decide if rookie CB Johnthan Banks will cover Steve Smith, Carolina's top receiver.

Quotable: "The more you just study Carolina, you just see not only how talented they are, but how well-coached they are. They're doing all the things that allow you to win football games. They're not doing the things that cause you to lose football games." — Schiano on the Panthers, who have won seven straight since a 1-3 start

BLOCK THAT PUNT: LB Dekoda Watson swatted one away two weeks ago against the Falcons. CB Danny Gorrer got one at Detroit on Sunday, making the Bucs the first team to have blocked punts in consecutive games since the Ravens in 2000.

Schiano's teams at Rutgers were known for blocking punts. But when he got to the NFL, the prevailing thought was it would be hard to duplicate it.

"I don't know if it was an individual who said that to me; just the overall feeling was that … this is a return league; that the snappers and punters got it off so quick that you couldn't get there," Schiano said. "They do, and people adjust to us. So they know that we're a punt block team, and they get the ball off more quickly. So it is harder for us as time goes on, but that's okay, too. If they change or alter their timing because of what we're doing, then usually that brings a good result.

"The thing that you have to really be careful of — and we're ultimately most careful of — is that you can't be a block team at the risk of giving up a fake. And that's why I was so frustrated in the Atlanta game, when they faked it on us. But we're going to continue to do that. It's part of what we do."

RIVALRY WEEKEND: Florida-Florida State, Michigan-Ohio State and USC-UCLA are among college football's biggest rivalry games this weekend. But nothing compares to Saturday's Iron Bowl, when No. 1. Alabama visits No. 4 Auburn.

"That's everything," said Panthers QB Cam Newton, who won the Heisman Trophy and a national title at Auburn. "The Iron Bowl is the best college football rivalry in all of sports. The only reason why the Iron Bowl doesn't get that label from unanimous decision … is due to the fact that this may be the only year when both of them are really battling for a spot in the SEC championship.

"Usually, it's one team … that's not relevant and one team that's very relevant and one team trying to stop the other from making the big splash."

Rick Stroud can be reached at stroud @tampabay.com and heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620.

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