New York Jets All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis practiced on a limited basis for the first time Friday since he suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of the win over the Bills last week, though he will miss Sunday’s game against the Steelers.
Revis, tight end Dustin Keller and linebacker Bryan Thomas won’t make trip to Pittsburgh, head coach Rex Ryan told reporters on Friday. For Revis. this is only the third he’s missed game in his NFL career.
“Revis was cleared for non-contact practice and he did that,” said Ryan, who added Revis was not cleared for contact. “We followed NFL protocol this week and we’ll always follow NFL protocol when it comes to concussions. Darrelle is ruled out for the game, so he will not play. He will not travel to the game.”
Revis was held out of practice Wednesday and Thursday, but did light running and weightlifting. He will likely be replaced by Kyle Wilson, who made 11 starts in his first two seasons, but has yet to live up to the expectations he had as a first-round pick in 2010.
“I’ve seen a guy that really over the last two years, he spent time with Darrelle in the offseason, training with him and learning football from (him),” Ryan said of Wilson. “That tells you about Kyle’s commitment. He wants to be a great football player and why not learn from the best, and that’s exactly what he does. I’ve seen him become a better player. He’s aware of what offenses are trying to do (and) how they’re trying to attack. His technique, he relies on his technique more than he used to. He’s a smart, tough, confident player.”
Revis’s absence creates a trickle-down effect that impacts the Jets’ ability to shut down the Steelers. Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown each racked up 1,000 receiving yards last year and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s ability to wriggle out of seemingly certain sacks allows him to find Wallace or Brown for big plays.
“He’s a big guy that shakes off tackles, so you have to do a tremendous job of tackling,” Ryan said. “On the back end of the play, you can never assume the play is over. You have to do a great job in your coverage and plastering receivers down the field. You have to do that because time and again he makes huge plays, whether he’s throwing it deep this way (or) across the field.”
While Revis is recognized as the best shutdown corner in football and a likely future Hall of Famer, Wilson is best known for whiffing on Victor Cruz during Cruz’ 99-yard touchdown catch last Christmas Eve. Wilson said Wednesday he feels as if he is a sharper and better player than he was a year ago and that he’s ready to step in for Revis if needed.
“I feel better now than last year,” Wilson said. “Going into my third year, I should be better. My goal is to just get better over time.
“I’m a lot smarter. I use my experience to my advantage. Over time, I just continue to work on things.”