TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis worked with the first-team defense in each period at practice Monday, a step forward for the four-time Pro Bowl player as he continues to recover from a torn ACL in his left knee sustained last September.
Revis’ work in training camp in recent weeks had been limited to individual drills against reserve wide receivers and brief seven-on-seven sessions. But his efforts to begin this week, which included limited reps and no contact, were a self-proclaimed “huge step” as he eyes a Week 1 return against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
“It’s the most work I’ve done, which is great, man,” Revis said. “The game plan has just been to take it one day at a time. We’re just trying to get as many reps as I can. Today, my knee has been feeling good. It’s good for me to be in the team activities and get out there.”
Both Revis and Bucs coach Greg Schiano have been noncommittal about the three-time All-Pro playing in Tampa Bay’s third preseason game Saturday in Miami Gardens, Fla., against the Miami Dolphins. Revis emphasized that he remains a “day-by-day” case, though he said he has not experienced swelling after recent practice sessions.
Revis, obtained by the Bucs in an April trade with the Jets, did not participate in Tampa Bay’s preseason losses to the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots. Schiano has made clear a schedule for Revis’ recovery remains a fluid situation, with progress dependent on Revis’ ability to show comfort with added tasks.
“Every step of the way, we’ve locked the plan — evaluate it and lock it down again,” Schiano said. “He’s right where we want him to be. Today, I’m anxious to watch the tape and see how he played. But the goal is to up it little by little but only with positive feedback afterward. We’re not going to push it. … This is a long-term relationship. It’s not at-all-costs to have him play in that first game. That’s our plan.”
The cautious message was consistent with what Schiano and Revis have shared since Revis signed a six-year, $96 million contract with Tampa Bay. Regarding playing against the Dolphins on Saturday at Sun Life Stadium, Revis said, “If I do play, that will be a call on that day.”
Still, despite a recovery process that includes no hard deadline for a return, Revis made progress Monday.
“I’m confident,” Revis said of playing Week 1 against the Jets. “It’s day-to-day, but I’m confident. It’s still weeks away, and we’ve still got time for my knee to get even better and better.”