FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Darrelle Revis stood at his locker for the second time in three days, rehashing one of the worst days of his NFL career.
Seeing the New York Jets star cornerback get burned time and again by Cincinnati’s A.J. Green on Sunday was stunning. The whispers about whether Revis’ shutdown skills have suddenly diminished have also grown louder.
“I’m fine,” Revis insisted Tuesday. “Passes get caught, and they’ve gotten caught on me before and touchdowns have been scored on me. It’s just getting back to the X’s and O’s of things and just correcting certain things, and that’s just about it.”
Green caught 12 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals’ 23-22 victory, mostly with Revis on him. The most eye-popping of all was the 54-yarder Green caught from Andy Dalton, with Revis trailing him into the end zone.
It was easy to point the finger at the cornerback, but it wasn’t entirely Revis’ fault. He was supposed to have safety help on the play, but it never came. And, it cost the Jets — and set the tone for an uncharacteristically long day for Revis.
“Most of those plays, I was right there,” Revis said. “The busted coverage, I’m supposed to get help, but at the same time, it is what it is. Like I’ve said, I can take a punch.”
Still, it was strange to see so many plays being made against him, especially when the Jets implied last week that Revis wouldn’t be the only one responsible for Green.
Revis said it’s not weird to be fielding so many questions about what went wrong and what needs to be fixed.
“Because I’ve been through the trenches,” he said. “You bounce back. That’s all you can do. Just bounce back.”
Is he feeling good about being able to bounce back Thursday night against Buffalo?
“I’m very confident,” he said. “Like I said, I’ve been through the trenches. It’s nothing new.”
Revis could face Sammy Watkins, who is dealing with discomfort in his surgically repaired left foot but said he’ll be fine to play. In last season’s finale, Watkins finished with 11 catches for 136 yards while mostly going up against Revis. In the teams’ first meeting, Revis helped hold Watkins to just three catches for 14 yards.
“I got him the first game, but I don’t even look at it like that,” Revis said. “My job is to keep guys to the minimum if I’m covering them, the minimum catches — and that’s what you want from the whole secondary, all of us.”
But for most of his 10 seasons, Revis has been almost automatic when it comes to keeping other teams’ top receivers off the stats sheet and out of the end zone.
The first real sign of a crack in the foundation was Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins catching five passes for 118 yards and two scores last November, with Revis on him most of the game.
The fact his past two games have not been vintage Revis has led some to question whether “Revis Island” is gone — maybe forever.
“Everybody’s going to be down on Revis because he has a poor game or whatever,” said Buffalo coach Rex Ryan, who coached Revis for four years with the Jets. “The thing about Revis is, if he’s slipped at all as a player, he’s coming down from the very tip of Everest. That’s where he’d be coming down from.
“So how far down, I’m not sure. But I know one thing: I know the kind of player he is.”
Jets coach Todd Bowles acknowledged that Revis, who continued his tradition of practicing this summer in sweats and multiple layers to get in shape, has the freedom to play press-man or off coverage on every play, leaving it up to his star cornerback.
“He’s pretty sharp mentally,” Bowles said, “and understands how people are trying to come at him.”
During his one season with New England in 2014, Revis was often used one-on-one on opponents’ No. 2 receivers while Bill Belichick double-teamed the No. 1s.
“We’ve done it before and we’ve looked at it,” Bowles said if that’s something he has considered. “We’ve talked about it. Certain games will require that.”
Despite his most recent performances and the increasing doubts from outside the Jets’ facility, Revis says there’s no added motivation.
“No, I’m fine, man,” he said. “It’s a long season. Nobody, we as a team, can dwell on Sunday. We’ve got to move forward. There’s a quick turnaround and we play Thursday, so we’ve got to move on.”
NOTES: The Jets waived TE Braedon Bowman to make room on the roster for DL Sheldon Richardson, who returned from his one-game suspension Monday. … LB Jordan Jenkins (calf) and QB Bryce Petty (right shoulder) did not practice, and neither is expected to be available Thursday. DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle, toe nail removed), LB Bruce Carter (shoulder), LB David Harris (shoulder) and CB Darryl Roberts (foot) were limited.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)