We like the fact that Jets coach Rex Ryan defers to his players when it comes to the question of whether they can or can’t play with an injury. At a certain point, however, the coaching staff needs to be able to recognize that a guy is having trouble — and they need to pull him off the field before he makes his situation even worse.
The Jets failed in this regard on Monday night, and now cornerback Darrelle Revis has had a setback to his injured hamstring.
“During the game, it’s high intensity, I’m a competitor and I wanted to play,” Revis said in comments distributed by the team. “I just fought through it. As of right now, maybe I should have [said something], but I was just playing
The result? Swelling in the injured hamstring and a missed practice on Wednesday.
“Before the game, I felt great,” Revis said. “There
were no problems. I just think the problem did come when I took a lot of reps.
I hadn’t played in two weeks. I wasn’t here for training camp, so coming back in
and playing a lot of reps, that’s where the swelling came in with the hamstring.”
Coach Rex Ryan apparently has learned a lesson, and he apparently will be changing the approach to letting players decide whether to play — and whether to stay in the game.
Or maybe he won’t.
“When I said it was going to be his decision whether he plays, I
think that’s wrong,” Ryan said. “His decision is he’s going to play. That’s just him being
a competitor. I’m going to take his input for sure. I’m never going to put a
player out there that doesn’t think he can play. [I'm going to] take all of the
information, gather it and then make the right decision.
“I’m not saying it
wasn’t the right decision to play Darrelle last week. I’m not saying that. I
will say this. We are going to make sure we are watching him, because when I
watched the tape, at the end of the game in particular, Darrelle wasn’t the same
guy that he always is. He wasn’t finishing plays like he always does, so
clearly the swelling bothered him, but he never said a word about it. What we
have to have is eyes on him and I’ll have the appropriate guys with eyes on him.
Then I’ll be able to say, ‘Hey, we have got to get him out.’
Ryan seems to acknowledge it was a mistake to let Revis play out the game. But at the same time, Ryan refuses to call it a mistake.
“Step back and look at it, and I’ve made a ton of mistakes
before and this may be another one, but it wasn’t a mistake to play him,” Ryan said. “I feel
that it was not a mistake to play him. I think he could have played and we felt
good about it. It’s just the way that every other decision, a football decision,
is made by me, with a lot of opinions. I don’t do anything individually, but I
collect all the facts and then I make the decision. Why wouldn’t I make this
decision? Obviously, I’m going to lean heavily on John Mellody and our doctors
and our medical staff and that’s the way we are going to do it.”
So it remains to be seen whether Revis will play against the pass-happy Broncos. And it remains to be seen whether Ryan will defer to the player or whether Ryan will overrule him. And it remains to be seen whether Ryan will pull him off the field if it appears that Revis is struggling.
Either way, what happened Monday was a mistake. Unless it wasn’t.