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Friday, Jun 22, 2018
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Martin Fennelly Columns

Fennelly: No need to exhibit Revis’ skills in preseason

Count me out.

All of New England had its insides go all chowdery Wednesday after Tom Brady went down and appeared to injure his knee while practicing with … the Bucs.

Brady was generally unharmed. Bucs defensive end Adrian Clayborn, whose rush knocked a New England Patriots lineman into Brady’s knee, was interrogated and released by Boston media.

Clayborn then sent the following message by helmet transmitter to the Glazer submarine, 10 miles off the Atlantic coast: Mayflower to Plymouth Rock, Mayflower to Plymouth Rock, Brady neutralized, Schiano patting Belichick on back to plant listening device, over and out.

We now turn from Brady’s knee to Revis’ knee, a joint discussion.

The Bucs and Patriots play an exhibition game Friday night.

Revis will not be exhibited, again.

And he shouldn’t be.

Right guard Davin Joseph won’t play, either. He didn’t even make this week’s trip to practice with the Pats. Left guard Carl Nicks, and his aching toe, will be in there, at least for a few snaps. For all those advances in equipment, you’d think the NFL would come up with a better thing for 350-pound guys to stand on than toes.

Back to Revis: I could care less if he doesn’t play even one snap before the season opener.

We’re going to wonder about that knee whether he takes no snaps or 70 snaps, given what’s riding on it, whether the man plays 20 downs or zero downs in the preseason. It blows or it doesn’t. This thing crumbles for Bucs head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik if it blows. Know that going in.

And think about it:

Does Darrelle Revis need that much preseason work, or any, to be the best Bucs cornerback? If he’s breathing, he’s the best.

Injuries can happen anywhere, any time, even against the Bucs defense. Season-ending ACL injuries appear the flavor of the month at NFL training camps. Watching Brady go down reminded us again.

Hey, if Revis’ knee is going to blow, it might as well be when it matters.

Wait for the real games.

You say fans shouldn’t have to pay regular season prices for preseason games?

I’m not even sure there should be preseason games.

After attending one banquet in Canton, Ohio, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement for Warren Sapp, I wondered, for a moment, if there should be any football at all.

I was watching a long parade of Hall of Famers walking on stage. Most of them struggled in one way or another as they walked. You couldn’t help but see it. All those broken bodies. It was touching and sad at the same time.

This is not a game conducive to human bodies.

But this is the business Darrelle Revis has chosen. And the Bucs have chosen him. And the timetable is the timetable. Maybe Revis goes in next weekend against the Dolphins in Miami, maybe not.

We’re going to wonder about that knee anyway.

If you’re a Bucs fan, you’ll still worry about Revis, no matter what the preseason holds. I’m not even convinced he’ll play against the Jets in the regular-season opener on Sept. 8. And you’ll still wonder if Joseph and Nicks are going to be healthy come the season.

No, it’s never too early to worry.

At this point, I sit Revis.

Taking some exhibition snaps can’t possibly make a difference at this point.

Unless, of course, he gets hurt.

Not that it could happen.

Why don’t you run that by Tom Brady, or over him?

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