Jets’ Curry back on court after spleen and blood clot scare

FLORHAM PARK, NJ (AP) — An enlarged spleen, blood clot and a constant dose of blood thinners kept Vinny Curry out of the football field last season.

The New York Jets defensive end was happy to be alive, but he missed the game he loves. So he attacked the only thing he could: his house.

“Bro, let me tell you something: I’ve probably been rearranging and building in my house like no one else, just trying to occupy my time,” a smiling curry said Tuesday. “It was so bad that I even planted a rose garden at my house. A rose garden! Like, come on, man.

For the 33-year-old Curry, house flipping and beginner gardening couldn’t compare to sacking quarterbacks and stuffing ball carriers. But that was all he had.


other than his life.

And that wasn’t guaranteed just months earlier, when a series of health issues put his playing career on hold and put his life in danger.

“I’ve been playing this game since I was 5 or 6 years old,” said Curry, a married father of two young children. “You love the game so much and what it means to you, but in the blink of an eye it could have taken me away from my babies. It was the scariest thing.

“But at the same time, I knew I had to be there for them and my wife and it was like, ‘I’m gonna get through this, you know?’

Curry spent his first six NFL seasons with Philadelphia after being drafted in the second round by Marshall in 2012. He played in Tampa Bay for one season before joining the Eagles for two years. Curry signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract with the Jets in March 2021 and was expected to add a veteran presence to New York’s pass rush.

But then came the sudden health problems.

Curry was diagnosed by Jets team doctors with a rare blood disorder that required the removal of his spleen last July.

“At any time,” Curry said, “it could have burst.”

He was hoping to return to the pitch at some point last season but developed a blood clot – initially thinking it was just a cramp in his right side. It turned out that he wasn’t taking his blood thinners properly due to what he called “miscommunication on my part” while trying to speed up the recovery process.

Instead, he was sidelined for even longer than expected, with doctors telling him he needed to continue taking blood thinners for the next few months – and no physical activity. So that meant no football.

“I felt like I let the guys down,” Curry said. “I was trying to rush up to them and be part of the group.”

He insisted he never doubted he would be able to return to the game one day, but admitted it was a “scary” experience dealing with the blood clot.

“Like, what if it spreads?” Curry remembered thinking. “And I tried not to let that self-doubt in, but let’s be honest, we’re all human. So even if a little bit of that creeps in, it’s like, ‘Damn, what if that spreads to my lungs or my calves?… But when I looked at them, babies, I was like, ‘I can’t let them see me shy.’

“If you are the head of the family, I must be strong at all times. Because in their eyes, you’re a superhero.

He maintained a presence around the Jets most of last season, helping to serve as a sounding board for his teammates.

“He’s an incredible person, first and foremost,” defensive lineman Quinnen Williams said. “Last year as he was going through what he was going through, we all prayed for him and we all talked to him, but he was still a composed leader.”

The worst moments came on Sunday because Curry couldn’t play. So he would sit and watch the games by himself.

“And that’s the part that really bothers you mentally because it’s like, fuck, you know you’re supposed to be there and you know it’s not your fault,” he said. declared. “But at the end of the day, it’s like, fuck, I can’t wait to be back there. And that kind of motivated me to persevere and be here in front of you today.

Curry followed doctors’ orders and received a clean bill of health. He is no longer on blood thinners and his previous issues are behind him.

He was released by the Jets in January, but re-signed in April. And now Curry is back where he always thought he would be – with his teammates back on the court.

As for that rose garden, well, it didn’t do very well. The branches grew, but the buds never bloomed. He is a football player, after all – certainly not a gardener or an entrepreneur.

“I’m back to normal,” he said with a smile. “Back to doing backflips once in a blue (moon).”

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Denise W. Whigham