National Football League
Raiders LB Curry still sidelined by injured knees
National Football League

Raiders LB Curry still sidelined by injured knees

Published Aug. 20, 2012 2:53 a.m. ET

Oakland Raiders linebacker Aaron Curry is running out of time to get back on the practice field from his injured knees in time to start the season opener next month.

Curry has returned to the team after spending last week in Los Angeles getting his injured knees checked out. He worked out on the side Sunday before watching most of practice on Sunday for the Raiders (tied for No. 23 in the AP Pro32).

''I don't know what that date is, but we're fastly approaching that day where he's either going to be out here ready to go or he's not because it's not a game where you just show up and play,'' coach Dennis Allen said. ''You got to get some work, you got to get some practice. He needs some work. Whenever he's ready he'll get out here and start working, and we'll see when we can get him ready to play.''

Curry was placed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp because of the injuries. When he wasn't healing as quickly as he hoped, Curry went to see a specialist in Los Angeles.


Allen said he has seen signs of improvement, but won't activate Curry until he is healthy.

''Just his ability to change directions at full speed, because that's what you do in the National Football League,'' Allen said. ''It's one thing to run straight ahead full speed. When he demonstrates that he can bend and change directions full speed, then he'll be ready to go.''

Curry, the fourth overall pick by Seattle in 2009, was acquired by Oakland in a midseason trade last year. He played in 11 games, starting nine, for the Raiders and had 32 solo tackles, three passes defensed and two fumble recoveries.

With it looking less and less as if Curry will be able to play the opener Sept. 10 against San Diego, rookie Miles Burris could get a shot to start in his NFL debut.

Burris, a fourth-round pick out of San Diego State, has taken Curry's place in the lineup at weakside linebacker in the first two exhibition games.

Burris admitted to still being a ''little antsy'' in the two games as he learns how to play in the NFL.

''It's not quite to that point yet of just complete reaction,'' he said. ''I'm still thinking a little bit out there and there's certain sets that'll give me a little hard time here and there. But I'm getting more comfortable within it and I'm just trying to stay in that playbook and make sure I've got everything.''

Burris had eight sacks, 19.5 tackles for loss, three fumble recoveries and 78 tackles for San Diego State last season, when he was used a lot as a pass rusher.

He will have many more responsibilities with the Raiders if he is the starter

''He's done a pretty good job of when he makes a mistake he gets it corrected, and he doesn't make the same mistake over and over,'' Allen said. ''But as you keep going on and you see a little bit more game plan, you're going to see different looks. So there's still going to be times where it's going to be the first time he sees it, and it's going to take a little time to get adjusted to it.''

NOTES: P Shane Lechler (knee) passed his physical and was taken off the non-football injury list. He is expected to punt in Saturday's exhibition game. ... RB Taiwan Jones returned to practice for the first time since injuring his hamstring two weeks ago and said he is working on not going too fast in practice to avoid further injuries. ''It's pretty hard. I'm pretty competitive. I wanted to show my speed and show my effort on every play. At this level you got to practice smarter,'' he said. ... TE Brandon Myers (shoulder) also returned to practice, while top three WRs Denarius Moore (hamstring), Darrius Heyward-Bey (shoulder) and Jacoby Ford (sprained left foot) all watched.


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