- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan threw a penalty flag on himself, tacitly admitting Wednesday he pressured the banged-up Darrelle Revis into playing Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings -- a move that may have aggravated the cornerback's balky hamstring.
The Jets coach, who publicly put the decision on Revis last week after announcing doctors had cleared him to play, conceded that approach was a mistake. Ryan shared that with Revis in a morning meeting. Ryan will make the call on Revis playing in Sunday's game in Denver.
"I'm in the win business, but I'm also in the what's-right business," Ryan told reporters, adding it "probably isn't real fair" to let players make that judgment.
Ryan said he wasn't second-guessing the decision to play Revis, just the way he went about it -- a rare mea culpa for an NFL coach. Now the question is, is the damage already done?
Revis played the entire game after missing the previous two, but he clearly wasn't himself and said afterward he was "very sore" and "very swollen." He didn't practice Wednesday and, although Ryan wouldn't rule him out for Sunday, it's highly unlikely that Revis will play. After returning from Denver, the Jets have a bye week, another reason to let him rest.
Turns out the Jets may have mishandled two injuries on Monday night. Outside linebacker Calvin Pace, who made his 2010 debut six weeks after surgery to repair a broken foot, was overworked in the game, according to Ryan. Pace played well, recording 1½ sacks, but he played virtually the entire game and couldn't practice because of significant soreness.
The timing is lousy for the Jets (4-1), who may have to the face the league's second-ranked passing attack without their best cornerback and best pass rusher -- although Pace said he expects to play.
Ryan acknowledged he and his staff have to do a better job of monitoring players throughout games. He said he had no idea Revis was hurting until he watched the tape and noticed that "Darrelle wasn't the Darrelle Revis we know."
"I was out there on one leg," said Revis, who was beaten badly on a 34-yard touchdown catch by Percy Harvin.
Leading into the game, Revis said he wasn't going to play unless he was 100 percent. People close to him advised him to play it safe and sit out, but he felt obligated to play, perhaps because he got hurt after a long contract holdout. Soon after the game began, he knew he wasn't right.
Revis wouldn't criticize Ryan for putting him on the spot, claiming he wanted to play. As for the upcoming game, Revis left little doubt about his feelings. Asked what he'd decide if he were Ryan, Revis replied, "That's a hard question ... Going into a bye, we're 4-1 right now -- you can rest me and take this thing into the bye and come back fresh for the next game."
If it turns into a long-term, nagging injury, it will have a major impact on the defense. Having had a healthy Revis for six quarters out of five games, the Jets have allowed nine touchdown passes, already one more than last season.
Ryan came under criticism for pressuring Revis. Unsolicited, he opened his news conference by declaring, "It's going to be put on my shoulders. This is the way I like it. I'm usually more comfortable this way, anyway."
Going forward, Ryan will make injury-related decisions after receiving input from the medical staff, assistant coaches and the injured players. In other words, he will protect the players from themselves.
"It probably isn't real fair to put it in their hands," Ryan said. "I've made a ton of mistakes before and this might be another one, but it wasn't a mistake to play him. It's just the way that ... Every other football decision is made by me ... and why wouldn't I make this decision?"
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