Jul 25, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) laughs with NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp after training camp at One Buccaneer Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Darrelle Revis Should Play In One (And Only One) Preseason Game With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Camp has officially begun, and Darrelle Revis is a part of it. He’s still limited in practices and only participating in certain drills, but he’s here and he’s on the field. So naturally, the next step is we start talking about games, and the first games on the schedule are presason.

Some in Revis’ camp are saying they don’t expect him to participate in any of the four preseason games. Head coach Greg Schiano has been heard saying Revis doesn’t need to play to start in Week 1. Schiano also said “I haven’t decided yet” when asked whether he’ll put Revis in preseason games or not.

Sounds like this is going to be an ongoing saga starting on August 8th and likely going to be a story before each game.

Here’s how I would handle this situation.

Revis should play in the third preseason game only. I want to see him on the field to make sure that he can hold up. I also want to make sure that he has plenty of time to prepare, and he has plenty of time to recover.

Revis should know today to plan to play in that game and only that game. The Buccaneers need to learn a few important things about Revis’ game health. Can he handle playing for entire series? Can he play a full quarter? Would he be able to play a full game? How will he feel at half? How will he feel after the game? How long will it take until he’s ready to go again?

All of these would be answered with just one preseason game.

What it would also do is allow the Buccaneers staff to have a better idea about how they will be able to use Revis in Week 1 against the Jets. If Revis can handle an entire half in Week 3 of the preseason, he’ll likely be fine to go all 60 minutes on September 8th. But, if he can’t, then they will have a better understanding of how to ration his snaps to make sure he’s still there for the fourth quarter.

I fully expect Darrelle Revis to play every defensive snap in that first game. However, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he can’t. But only if the Buccaneers know this going in. If Schiano says he’s full go, and then he’s not there late in the game, that’s a problem. But if they know, he can only play 75% of the snaps, they’ll be able to make sure he’s out there when he’s really needed.

The more knowledge the Buccaneers know about Revis’ game health, the better prepared they can be on how to deploy him when the regular season rolls around. They can only learn so much in camp and in preseason practices. A game is necessary to gather much-needed information. The Bucs should take advantage of it… but only once to be as safe as possible.

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