Jets fans can finally breathe a collective sigh of relief now that the franchise's cornerstone, defensive back Darrelle Revis, has been cleared to return to practice. Revis was held out of the starting lineup during Gang Green's Week Two loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers after suffering a concussion caused by an inadvertent kick to the helmet from teammate Bart Scott. The former University of Pittsburgh standout told reporters that he was in a ‘fog' last week and subsequently failed his concussion tests administered by neurologists and team doctors. With the ‘fog' finally cleared, Revis was issued the go-ahead to resume practicing, and no one is more pleased than Jets' head coach Rex Ryan.
"I'm definitely happy that he's cleared for contact, without question, I'm happy about that, for his sake," Ryan told reporters on Thursday. "He loves to play, but if he's healthy, I think that's the big thing. As a coach, having probably, if he's not the premier defensive player in the league, he's certainly up there, so having him as a player, obviously, you're happy for that also."
Without Revis last Sunday, the Jets surrendered 275 passing yards to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and allowed the highest passer rating (125.8) in Ryan's four-year coaching tenure. As Gang Green prepares for a ‘must-win' game this Sunday in Miami, Ryan and company are optimistic that No. 24 will be back in the defensive mix.
"Again, I can say that I expect him to play, but again, I'm going to lean on the doctors and the trainers," Ryan stated.
On Thursday Revis participated in his first full contact practice session since sustaining the concussion, while doctors closely abided by the NFL's concussion procedures, the four-time Pro Bowler was chomping at the bit to buckle up his chin strap and hit the gridiron as soon as possible.
"I felt rusty after the practice, (with) full-contact," admitted Revis. "There's still protocol we have to follow. I couldn't engage anybody yesterday. They couldn't touch me as well. Usually, if you're injured, you have to wear the red jersey and I told them I didn't want to wear it. I felt like I could play full-contact Wednesday."
Barring any setbacks, the Jets anticipate Revis will be ready to go for Sunday's AFC-East clash with the Dolphins. As the defensive coaching staff installs the gameplan for this weekend, Ryan isn't underestimating the impact Revis will have on their upcoming contest.
"Well, I think you feel good when you have the best player on the field, that can't hurt you," declared Ryan. "They have some great players over there at Miami, they have a great left tackle, Jake Long, they have an excellent guard beside him, they have Reggie Bush (who's) a tremendous football player, but there's only one Darrelle Revis. I know I feel great about it. It's hard not to smile if he's out there, you feel great as a play-caller, Mike Pettine and all (of them). You feel good having the best player (out there)."