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Bucs' Revis not ruled out for preseason finale

Not a TD: Bucs cornerback Leonard Johnson breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for Brandon Gibson. Miami drives inside the Bucs 20 four times but scores just one touchdown.
Published Aug. 26, 2013

TAMPA — Contrary to a Fox Sports report Sunday morning, Bucs coach Greg Schiano said a Darrelle Revis cameo in Thursday's preseason finale against Washington isn't out of the question.

Other front-line players could also appear in a game typically used to determine the final few roster spots, though Schiano said: "I don't think it will be wholesale."

Citing an anonymous source, Fox Sports reported Revis, recovering from a torn left ACL sustained in 2012, would not play at all this preseason. But Schiano said any decision would be based on feedback from the three-time All-Pro cornerback and in consultation with team trainer Todd Toriscelli.

"Just because a lot of guys aren't playing doesn't mean that Darrelle won't play," Schiano said. "It doesn't mean that he will play either. He's on his own schedule. And when you're playing out on the flank, it doesn't matter who else (is out there). You're just playing."

NICKS IN NEW YORK? Schiano refused to rule out G Carl Nicks (MRSA infection) for the Sept. 8 season opener at the Jets.

Nicks, whose left foot infection followed season-ending surgery on his left big toe in November, recently practiced three days in Foxborough, Mass. He hasn't appeared in a game.

"I think there's too much time still before we can (rule Nicks out)," Schiano said.

RIGID IN RED ZONE: The Bucs ranked 22nd in the NFL in red zone defense in 2012, allowing opponents to score touchdowns on 55.8 percent of their trips inside the Tampa Bay 20.

So while there wasn't much to be encouraged about from Saturday's 17-16 win at Miami, Schiano was pleased to see his defense force field goals on three of four trips.

Still, he bemoaned the excessive chances being afforded offenses, including Miami's 17-play drive to open the game capped by a field goal.

"Good job in the red zone playing defense," Schiano said. "But you don't want to live like that."

Big plays on that opening stand came from rookie DT Akeem Spence, who stopped Daniel Thomas for a 2-yard loss on a third-and-1 run (Miami converted on fourth down), and rookie CB Johnthan Banks, who broke up a pass in the end zone intended for Brian Hartline on the final third down.

Miami attempted a pass from the 4-yard line after RB Lamar Miller was twice stopped for no gain, LB Mason Foster and DT Gerald McCoy getting the tackles.

"It was a little bit of a weird deal," said Schiano, whose defense was on the field for 10 plays inside the 20 on the drive. "That's almost impossible."

BACK AGAIN: S Sean Baker was an opportunistic player at Ball State, recording a school-record 18 interceptions. For the second year in a row, he has turned heads during the preseason.

In last year's preseason finale against Washington, Baker had two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Saturday, he picked up a fumble forced by DE William Gholston and returned it 55 yards to set up the winning touchdown.

"Just in the right place at the right time," Baker said. "That's what the preseason is. You can't go out there like it might not count or it doesn't matter. Everyone's competing and doing the best they can. We knew if they scored, the game was over. We did our job and followed the game plan. I'm just doing what the coaches tell me to do."

ODDS AND ENDS: Schiano reported no major injuries Sunday but said CB Anthony Gaitor, who left the game, is having a knee evaluated. … Of the MRSA infections affecting Nicks and K Lawrence Tynes, Schiano said, "We're moving forward. Hopefully, that's all behind us. I think we've done everything you can to make it that way and just hope and pray that that's it because we need to get ready for this opener coming up."

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

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