TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis said Monday it is “too far down the road” to know if he will play in Week 1 against his former team, though coach Greg Schiano remains hopeful.
Revis, a four-time Pro Bowl player, has been a common sight at Bucs training camp in recent weeks but has been limited to a light workload as he continues his recovery from a torn ACL in his left knee. On Monday, Revis covered wide receivers on a separate field from full-team work with quarterback Adam Weber throwing passes. He also participated in walk-through “teach periods” with the top defense, as he has done routinely throughout recent practices.
“I think that’s too far down the road,” Revis said when asked if he will play against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium to open the regular season. “Right now, we’re just trying to go day-by-day. That is the goal. We talked about that. I want to be there first day, first game, and be out there ready to roll with my teammates.”
Revis said he has experienced no swelling on the affected knee after practices, something that Bucs director of medicine and performance Todd Toriscelli looks for after each session. He said the next large step will be taking part in team activities, such as seven-on-seven drills with matchups against wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams.
The Bucs have been careful with Revis throughout training camp. He has yet to participate in full-speed drills with the top defense, and Schiano envisions “several steps” to come before Revis is able to return for game-like situations. However, Schiano said those steps would “move rather quickly” if no setbacks occur.
“He’s covering receivers right now,” Schiano said. “Today we had a quarterback interjected into the equation, so making plays on the football, which leads to a different amount of tangling up with the receiver, because now you’re both trying to go for the same thing. We’ll do that for a little bit, then we’ll up him to seven-on-seven team stuff. So it’s going to be step-by-step.”
On Monday, Schiano repeated that he feels confident that Revis will be ready for Week 1. The Bucs have been unclear how much work Revis will receive in the four-game preseason schedule, which begins Thursday night at Raymond James Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens.
Still, Revis has said he plans to cover an opponent’s top wide receiver when he returns. He said Schiano is “very open to it, and I think that’s what we’re going to do.”
“He’ll play every technique in our scheme,” Schiano said. “We won’t exclude him, but I think his physical capabilities allow you to do some things with him that you might not do with some other guys. So we’ll take advantage of all those skills. And who knows? I don’t know if that will be right opening day, if he’ll be ready to do that or if he’ll just be ready to be a regular player. But certainly, as he’s ready, we’ll be ready.”
Revis, traded to the Bucs in April, sustained the injury last September against the Miami Dolphins and missed the rest of the season. He worked to the side with Toriscelli in OTAs this spring, but he took the field with his new teammates for the first time when starting training camp July 25.
“I think I had to learn that going through this whole situation, me being injured and not playing most of the season last year,” Revis said of exercising patience. “I’m fine. If this is what we have to do, you can’t force things. … It’s just a phase we’ve got to go through. We’ve got to knock down every block as we get closer to game 1.
“Each day, I’m getting better. The biggest thing is us looking for swelling, which has never happened. As long as it doesn’t swell up on me, I will be fine.”