Tampa Bay Buccaneers shutdown corner Darrelle Revis was locked in a one-on-one battle for the ages with Detroit Lions elite receiver Calvin Johnson, but Revis suffered an aggravated groin pull sometime in the first half. Johnson put up some great numbers in the first half, but Revis did a good job of covering the game’s top receiver, especially with Dashon Goldson suspended.
Revis has been the best cover corner this season, and he has made a huge statement this season in his first year in Tampa and in his return from last year’s ACL tear. Despite how great Richard Sherman is, Revis is still the best cornerback in the league when it comes to covering, because he just doesn’t get burned. As we saw against the Indianapolis Colts, speedy receivers like T.Y. Hilton can blow by Sherman on multiple occasions, whereas Revis seems also superhuman in coverage.
The Buccaneers face Steve Smith and the rival Carolina Panthers this week, so they will be hoping that Revis is able to play. According to ESPN NFL Nation’s Pat Yasinskas, Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano called Revis “day to day” and stated that he doesn’t know if Revis will play this week.
Even at this age, Smith is still one of the most difficult wide receivers to cover one-on-one, but Revis would be able to do just that. Unlike Sherman and Aqib Talib (two elite corners Smith outplayed this year), Revis isn’t going to be overly physical with Smith, because trying to play Smith physically is a sure way to lose. No, the way to beat Smith is with technique and discipline, along with the physical tools that make shutdown corners so tough to beat. Revis’s status is totally up-in-the-air this week, so keep a close eye on his practice statuses. I think we’ll see Revis play against the Panthers as a game-time decision.