NFL notebook: Furor over replacement refs reaches fever pitch

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Sept. 24 2012 7:00 p.m. MDT

A somber Ryan stopped short of ruling Revis out for the season on Monday, saying he just learned of the MRI results. But Revis will have to wait two or three weeks before surgery, Ryan said, and the recovery from an ACL tear is usually six-to-nine months. So the chances of Revis returning this season appear extremely slim.

Ryan added that he will speak with Revis before the team decides whether he will be placed on injured reserve, a move that could happen as early as Tuesday.

"It's just disappointing," Ryan said. "This guy wants to win. As great a player as he is individually, he's a great teammate and just wants to win. That's why he was so excited about this year."

The 27-year-old Revis was injured in the third quarter of the Jets' 23-20 overtime victory at Miami on Sunday, falling awkwardly and grabbing his knee even before he hit the grass. It was a non-contact injury, and he covered his face with gloved hands in obvious pain. He was able to walk off the field, but was taken into the locker room on a golf cart.

"Thanks for all the support!" Revis wrote on his Twitter page on Monday night. "It's just part of the game, I'm already on my way to recover!"

Ryan suspected the injury was serious when he talked to Revis on the plane ride home. MRI results Monday morning confirmed the team's worst fears.

"It's something we have to overcome as a football team. ... We're going to lose that presence. I don't know what else to say about it," Ryan said. "I guess that's the horrible thing that came out of the game."

This was Revis' first game after missing a week with a concussion sustained in the season opener against Buffalo. He had missed only three games before this season, all in 2010.

LIONS MUM ON STAFFORD'S LEG: The Matthew Stafford health watch has begun anew, an unpleasantly familiar move for the Detroit Lions.

Stafford left late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 44-41 overtime loss at Tennessee with a strained muscle in his right leg, and although Shaun Hill played well in a relief role, the last thing the Lions want is a return to the days when their franchise quarterback wasn't able to stay healthy. Stafford was banged up as a rookie in 2009 and played only 10 games, and he was limited to three the following season because of problems with his throwing shoulder.

CARDINALS OFF TO FAST START: Seeing Philadelphia receiver DeSean Jackson racing over the middle with the ball in his hands, Kerry Rhodes charged out of the end zone and stood him up. Jackson fought and wriggled, trying to get past the Arizona Cardinals safety, but Rhodes held his ground and wrestled him down at the 1-yard line.

Two plays later, Rhodes blindsided Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, causing a fumble that James Sanders scooped up and returned for a 93-yard touchdown.

Need a reason for the Cardinals' best start in 38 years? It's plays like that from their dominating defense.

"We have a swagger and a lot of confidence," Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington said. "We believe in one another and as the season progresses, we'll continue to get better."

Expectations weren't exactly high for the Cardinals to start the season, and eking out a win over Seattle in the opener didn't do much to sway opinions.

A 20-18 win over New England, one of Arizona's biggest road victories in recent years, helped a little, though the prevailing thought was more about what's wrong with the Patriots than how good are the Cardinals.

That changed Sunday against Philadelphia.

The Cardinals knocked Vick into their bench on the first play from scrimmage and kept coming after him, manhandling the Eagles for a 27-6 victory. Arizona sacked Vick five times, forced him to fumble twice — the big one leading to Sanders' touchdown return just before halftime — and spent most of the afternoon battering him and the rest of the Eagles.

The here-we-are win leaves the Cardinals as one of three undefeated teams left in the NFL, with Houston and Atlanta, and has them off to their best start since 1974, 14 years before the team moved to the desert.

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