There will be no dramatic Super Bowl return for Darrelle Revis.
The New York Jets placed the star cornerback on season-ending injured reserve on Friday, a few weeks after coach Rex Ryan said the team would wait until after knee surgery in case there was a "0.0002 chance" Revis could recover in time to play in the NFL's big game.
"We're going to need that roster spot," Ryan said. "I said it was a 0.0002 per cent chance. Well, it's not that high."
Ryan said Revis will have surgery next week to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee suffered almost three weeks ago at Miami. With safety Eric Smith being sidelined by a knee injury this week, Revis' roster spot was filled by rookie safety Antonio Allen, the team's seventh-round draft pick who was signed from the practice squad.
Revis was injured in the third quarter of the Jets' 23-20 overtime victory Sept. 23, falling awkwardly and grabbing his knee without making any contact with another player. An MRI exam confirmed the Jets' worst fears that the ACL was torn.
He has been working out at the team's facility, and was there Friday walking on a zero-gravity treadmill. Typically, patients with similar injuries wait a few weeks before surgery but begin the rehabilitation process to strengthen the leg in hopes that that will help expedite the healing after the operation.
Two weeks ago, Ryan said he wanted to wait until after Revis had surgery to make a definitive decision on his status for the season. If there was a chance Revis could play in the Super Bowl — the way Rod Woodson returned from reconstructive knee surgery in the same season in 1995 for Pittsburgh — Ryan wanted to keep that option open.
But after talking to the doctors and getting their feedback on the situation, Ryan decided to make the move now. Ryan also clarified that the Jets won't put Revis on the NFL's new injured reserve/designated for return list, which teams can use for one player per season. That player would be able to return to practice after six weeks and play in a game after eight.
"I was kind of holding out hope," Ryan said. "He's not going to be back [this season]."
The Jets have been playing one player short on their roster the last two games, with 52 instead of 53, but Ryan said that hasn't been an issue.
"When Eric went down for the week, we needed the roster spot now," Ryan said, adding that he probably would have continued to wait to make the move on Revis until after the surgery if Smith hadn't gotten hurt.
Smith sprained a knee in practice Wednesday while trying to knock down a pass. Ryan initially thought it was a serious injury, but tests revealed it was a sprain that could sideline him a week or two rather than the rest of the season.
Revis is the sixth Jets player placed on injured reserve this season, joining wide receiver Santonio Holmes (foot), linebacker Josh Mauga (pectoral muscle), defensive back Royce Adams (knee), and tight ends Josh Baker (knee) and Dedrick Epps (knee).
Holmes had surgery to repair the injury to his left foot on Wednesday. He was hurt late in the Jets' 34-0 loss to San Francisco two weeks ago after catching a short pass, suffering a Lisfranc injury, which usually involves a tear of the ligament in the middle of the foot that holds the first two toes together.
Mauga had surgery Friday to repair a torn pectoral muscle, suffered Monday night in the 23-17 loss to Houston.
Ryan said both had "successful" procedures, and the players are expected to be ready to participate in off-season workouts.
Allen was waived after the preseason on Sept. 1, but the Jets signed him to the practice squad the next day. In four seasons at South Carolina, Allen had 198 tackles, including 20 for a loss, four interceptions and six forced fumbles.