Florham Park, N.J. - When the New York Jets brought back cornerback Darrelle Revis last season, they had hoped Revis was like a fine wine getting better with age. What they did not realize is when a fine wine is exposed and suspect to wear and tear - it will quickly turn to bitter vinegar. That is the current state of Revis Island - a beach that has been slowly washing away on a weekly basis one muscle tweak at a time.
Earlier in the week, Revis told Newsday his "body's breaking down." As days pass, the injuries that Revis has dealt with his entire career are continuing to linger instead of improve. That happens with age. It is hard to accept for Revis, who wants to be the shutdown cornerback he once was. It is also hard to accept for Jets management and fans that know Revis will be making $17 million this year to be half the island he once was. Nobody wins. Yet, the battered but not beaten Revis will have another chance to overcome this obstacle on Sunday against two talented receivers.
The receiver Revis will cover is yet to be determined. It can be the talented Terrelle Pryor or maybe even the big threat tight end Gary Barnidge. Regardless, whichever receiver is lined opposite of No. 24, will be going up against a banged up and broken individual.
"I don't [shutdown the game's top receivers] anymore," Revis told Newsday this week. "But I did that for a number of years. When you play Cover Zero on some of the best receivers in the world, it takes a toll on your body."
His body has been through a lot. He has battled through knee injuries to hamstring tweaks, from hip bruises to faulty groins, from concussions to ACL tears - this is a man who has played through pain and left it all on the field. His better days are behind him and he knows it but he still believes he 'can still play.'
While he still has yet to register an interception on the campaign, Revis turned in his best performance of the season two weeks ago. He successfully limited the ageless Larry Fitzgerald to a season-low 49 yards and no touchdowns. It was a tall task but Revis was up for the challenge.
This week is no different for Revis, as another do-it-all athletic receiver will be staring at him eye-to-eye. Terrelle Pryor leads the Browns in receptions, yards and touchdowns. During this week of Browns practice, Pryor went out of his way to defend his competition saying: "You can't question Darrelle Revis' talent."
"To this day, I've seen guys try to get double moves on him now or trying to sprint at him on an angle and then come back out," Pryor told NFL.com. "He still locks it down."
It was a sign of respect for Revis. While Pryor's comments may be slightly far-fetched, the wide out is correct in saying Revis is still a talented cornerback in this league. The Jets corner can still be effective with the proper help. On Sunday - with Revis lining opposite of Pryor - he will need the extra safety aid he has not truly received this year.
"He is one of the best athletes in the NFL today," Revis told Cleveland newspaper The Plain Dealer about Pryor. "For him to switch positions [from QB to WR], and excel in the position swap, I tip my hat off to him. He's an awesome player."
In more ways than one, this is a statement game for Revis. He had just come out to the media saying his body is broken down and continues to look far from the Revis of old. Expectations are low which makes it the perfect time to make that statement. Against a lowly Cleveland Browns team with an inconsistent quarterback, this is a game Revis will need as a confidence booster.
Joe Barone is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@28Joebarone), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)