On the list of things we thought we'd never see this football season, it's hard to come up with something that ranks higher than hearing people complain about the fact that Darrelle Revis played a game for the Jets on Monday night.
After all the hand-wringing about his holdout this summer, the idea that people would ever feel like it was better for Revis to miss a game is about as foreign as Donald Trump thinking it was better to do something under the radar. Yet that's just what's happened after Revis admitted to feeling pretty sore after playing for the first time since tweaking his hamstring against the Vikings on Monday. He also said he wasn't sure if he'd be able to play against Denver this weekend.
That admission led to questions about whether or not the Jets rushed Revis back into the lineup, questions that frankly don't make a lot of sense. If Revis felt good all week and was able to practice, which he was, why wouldn't the Jets put him back in the lineup? You didn't hear many people complaining about that choice in the days before the game. In fact, you heard a lot more people saying that this was a boon for the Jets defense with Brett Favre, Randy Moss and Adrian Peterson rolling into town.
You would have heard a lot of yelling and screaming from the gallery had Revis missed the game and watched the Jets lose on a touchdown pass. The fact that Revis didn't play particularly well backs up the notion that they would have been fine without him, but game plans and execution are affected by reality and not by hypotheticals. It's easy to say what they should have done after the game, but the hard part is figuring out what to do before you know how everything turns out.
Obviously there's risk involved with a player coming back from an injury, but that risk is going to exist whenever you actually decide to pull the trigger and let him play. You hedge that risk as much as possible and there's no reason to think that the Jets didn't do that. Revis said he's sore, but was clear that he didn't feel any strain just the kind of soreness and swelling you'd expect to see from a player who isn't quite 100 percent.
As good as the Jets have been this season, they haven't been perfect. The pass defense, in particular, has been less impressive than the team had hoped. Winning the Super Bowl, which is the team's goal, is going to require more than what they've done to this point and having Revis on the field is a big part of that effort. You can't really blame them, then, for putting him out there and hoping for the best.
People like to have things both ways, though, which explains all the hubbub now about a decision everyone would have made four days ago. And it also explains why all those same people will jump down the Jets' throats for not playing Revis should he sit during a loss to the Broncos.