Aaron Curry plugged into Raiders' starting lineup
Three days ago Aaron Curry was a backup strongside linebacker in Seattle. Now he's preparing to start at the weakside for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
ALAMEDA, Calif. — Three days ago Aaron Curry was a backup strongside linebacker in Seattle. Now he's preparing to start at the weakside for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Curry's prospects took a sudden turn Friday when coach Hue Jackson announced that the first-round pick in the 2009 draft will replace Quentin Groves in the Raiders' starting defense at home against the Cleveland Browns. Groves has been a starter since signing with Oakland before last season.
Talk about a whirlwind week.
"It's been very eventful, very exciting," Curry said after donning a Raiders T-shirt. "Just to know that Coach has faith in me that I can come in and play right away is a great confidence booster for me, just to know that he believes in me."
Not many people in the Pacific Northwest had faith in Curry anymore. The No. 4 overall pick two years ago went from a can't-miss prospect to a bench player in Seattle before the trade with Oakland was completed Thursday.
Although he seemed to play well enough against the run, Curry struggled in pass coverage and couldn't get fully comfortable in the Seahawks' system.
Jackson told Curry to leave his problems in the past.
"I don't get into what all happened wherever he was," Jackson said. "I brought him here for a reason and he's going to play. I didn't bring him here to look at him to figure it out or anything like that. He's the starting Will (linebacker) on this football team, period."
Curry, who lost his starting job in Seattle to rookie K.J. Wright, first heard rumors he might be traded to Oakland beginning Wednesday. That was one day after his final practice with the Seahawks.
Before being dealt to Oakland, the 6-foot-2, 255-pounder had only 22 tackles. Curry has just 5 ½ career sacks, but believes the Raiders defense is better suited to his skills.
"I'm starting with a clean slate and (Jackson) doesn't care what happened back in the past," Curry said. "When he told me that I took a deep breath because that was my biggest concern — would the opinions pass on from club to club or from person to person?"
Curry, whose brother Eric Barton played for the Raiders from 1999 to 2003, will get a crash course in Oakland's defense before Sunday's game.
"We'll work from sunup to sundown to get him ready," Jackson said. "In my mind I'm not making a trade to ease a guy into anything. We made a trade because I feel like this guy can help our football team. He's wanted here."
• Green Bay Packers tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) is expected to return for Sunday's game against St. Louis after missing two games.
• Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers (knee) is doubtful for Sunday's home game against the Minnesota Vikings.
• Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield (neck) is doubtful for the game Sunday night against Chicago.
• Houston Texans linebacker Mario Williams had surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle.
• Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall (knee) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
• Pittsburgh Steelers rookie tackle Marcus Gilbert (shoulder) will miss Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
• Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack returned to practice for the first time since undergoing an appendectomy and could play Sunday against Oakland.
• Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Shawne Merriman (Achilles tendon) will likely miss Sunday's game at the New York Giants.
• Chicago Bears safety Brandon Meriweather was fined $25,000 by the NFL for a hit that resulted in an unnecessary-roughness penalty in Detroit on Monday night.
• The NFL fined Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice $7,500 for grabbing the facemask of St. Louis Rams cornerback Bradley Fletcher.
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