Darrelle Revis is rehabbing his knee while the Buccaneers try to trade for him, despite not knowing whether his knee is completely healthy. Sports medicine has advanced immensely over the past decade and many players have come back just finde from ACL tears, but it's hardly a given -- so it's good to at least see Revis running in a video made at the Fischer Sports rehab facility. I would embed the video, but I loathe autoplay. So that means Fischer Sports is only getting link traffic. Hah. That'll teach them, to be sure! Here's the link.
So, what can we see there? Well, he's doing some light running and going through the bags. At this point in his recovery he isn't yet supposed to go all-out, so it's hardly surprising that he doesn't look super fluid going through the bags. But at least we can tell his leg didn't fall off, right?
Here's a more interesting comparison: are there some historical comparisons. With the most pessimistic ones first, because I'm in a gloomy mood. Can you tell?
CB Domonique Foxworth (2012, age 27) - played two more career games
Well, this is a pretty disastrous comparison. Foxworth signed a big free agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens in 2009, then tore his ACL before the 2010 season, landing him on injured reserve. He returned in 2011 but was forced to retire due to knee problems after playing just two more games. Also, Revis is the same age as Foxworth was.
LB Thomas Davis (2009, age 26) - suffered two more ACL injuries, but then returned to form
I like Thomas Davis' story. A solid outside linebacker, he suffered torn ACL injuries in three consecutive seasons, the first at age 26. That's some really bad luck there. And yet, despite those ACL injuries, he returned to form in 2012 and had a very good season on a struggling team. Positive: returned from three ACL injuries. Negative: suffered three ACL injuries.
CB Terrell Thomas (2011, age 26) - suffered another ACL injury, has yet to return to play
This is another annoying comparison to make: a cornerback with an ACL injury who then suffers another ACL injury, and doesn't return to play. Thomas suffered his first ACL injury before the 2011 season, then re-injured during the 2012 training camp. He hasn't played since, and he may yet play -- but recurring injuries are scary.
CB Greg Toler (2011, age 26) - returned to form immediately
Good news! Greg Toler tore his ACL during the 2011 preseason, rehabbed his injury and had a career season for the Arizona Cardinals in 2012. He parlayed that performance into a three-year, $14.25 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts. Toler missed four games with unrelated hamstring injuries last season, which isn't surprising looking at his injury-filled past. That fact has little bearing on Revis, at least.
CB Omar Bolden (2011, age 22) - entered NFL and played 16 games
Omar Bolden didn't have a big role on defense for the Denver Broncos after suffering an ACL tear in April of 2011. That caused him to miss his senior season at ASU, but he still got drafted in the fourth round by the Denver Broncos and managed to play all 16 NFL games without any apparent ill effects. Of course, he is five years younger than Revis.
What's the message here? I don't have a clue what it is
Obviously, it's entirely possible to come back from an ACL injury and play at a decent level immediately. It's entirely possible to come back from an ACL injury and then suffer two more before returning to form -- or you could simply never return to football again. There's simply no consistent pattern here, so it's impossible to take away a consistent lesson. I can't even tell you whether a thorough examination at this point is meaningful for the future. What I can say, though, is that it is a risk. Not a massive risk, but a risk.
So, I guess the message is this: what happens with Darrelle Revis's knee injury is specific to what happens to him, and can't really be derived from the past. So yeah, good luck with that, Bucs!