FLORHAM PARK (N.J.)He saw the bad news coming. He walked off the field following the announcement. The defensive end of the minicamp practice in June was approached by team physicians and athletic trainers. Curry was immediately struck by the worried looks on their faces. Curry was struck immediately by the concerned looks on their faces after weeks of revitalizing work.
His blood count was high and doctors wanted him to retake the test. They also suggested that he undergo an MRI, an imaging exam that confirms their suspicions. Curry's spleen had enlarged and required to be removed as soon possible. It had swelled to a range of 28 to 31 centimeters due to a previous blood disorder. This is more than twice the normal size.
Curry told ESPN that his spleen was about to burst. “It was one of those, ‘Are you F'ing kidding me?' moments.”
Curry, who missed the 2021 season because of complications following his splenectomy in December of 2017, returned to the field for the start of OTAs. Curry took a moment to reflect on the first day and thanked God for everything.
Curry is back almost one year ago, nearly one year after the last year's health scare that could have been life-threatening, and he's more determined than ever.
Joe Douglas, Jets general manager, stated that “No one loves football as much as Vinny Curry.” “No one.”
Curry turns 34 in June. He has played a lot (121 games) of football and won many games over nine seasons. This includes a Super Bowl matchup with the Patriots.. He doesn't have to do much more to make his career a success. But he still gets out there and trains with men 10 times his age.
“One thing about me: I don’t take life for granted,” he said. “I'm happy to still be doing what my heart desires and be here.
Curry was born in the Mayo Clinic with thalassemia. Thalassemia is a rare, inherited blood disorder that causes the body's hemoglobin to be lower than normal. Anemia caused by thalassemia can lead to fatigue. Curry stated that Curry's condition falls under the sickle cell category. An enlarged spleen is one of the symptoms.
It was something he did from Neptune in New Jersey to Marshall College to the NFL.
Curry said, “I have had this blood disorder all my life.” “I was born suffering from it. The spleen grew over time.
The Jets' doctors caught a brilliant catch. When the spleen is enlarged, it can burst with a hit to the abdomen. Dr. Babak Sarani, a professor of surgery at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, said a ruptured spleen can result in “a life-threatening hemorrhage fairly quickly.” Curry said he never permitted himself to ponder the macabre, what-if scenarios, although he admitted, “It was a sickening and dark time for me because I didn’t know what was going to happen and what the future held.”
In July, Curry had his spleen removed. Curry had hoped to be playing in 2021 at that point so he began training. Curry also stopped taking his medication, a “miscommunication,” as he called it. This led to a blood clot.
Last August, Curry was diagnosed with a blood disorder that prohibited him from having any physical contact. Curry was devastated. He felt helpless, and was bored. Instead of burying the quarterbacks, he planted rose gardens, one of many household chores he chose to pass the time.
“A rose garden!He was still incredulous. “Come on, man!”
Curry was still involved in the team's operations, providing leadership behind-the scenes and vowed to make a comeback. First, Curry needed to be healthy for Daphne, his wife and their two children (ages 5 and 2).
He stated, “I am a family man first.” “The wife is reading about this at home with me, thinking, ‘You could possibly die.’ As for my career, pardon my French, but ‘F— the career, I'm just trying to get healthy.'”
FormerSafety Ryan Clark had a similar experience in 2007. Clark, who had sickle cell complications, underwent a splenectomy in his 28th year. He returned to play the next season and played for seven more years. Due to the infection in his stomach, Clark was dangerously underweight at 160 pounds. He also had his gall bladder and a portion of his liver removed.
Clark, an ESPN analyst now calls it “extremely serious, extremely severe” but he says the football player's mentality was to return on the field as soon possible.
“Even though I was much younger than he is, the only thing you can think about is: If I can train, if I can walk, if I'm medically cleared, then why wouldn’t I play?” Clark stated this in a phone interview.
Clark stated that he changed his diet and training program, took vitamins, and saw a homeopathic physician twice per month. He expressed no hesitation in returning, saying that he had “none at all.” “I was happy to be healthy.” They removed what was killing my body. Curry stated that he is living a normal life without any medication or fear about physical contact.
Dr. Sarani, who did not himself treat Curry, said NFL players have “a level of pain tolerance that is entirely different from normal humans,” adding that Curry is out of danger because enough time has elapsed since the surgery.
“Almost one year out, he really should be back to his old self,” he said. Sarani stated that a splenectomy can put a person at higher risk of bacterial infections like meningitis and pneumonia. This is why these patients are vaccinated prior to surgery.
This is the third oldest player on the team, after quarterback, 37, and kicker Curry, 34 years old, is a career sack holder with 32.5 career sacks. His enthusiasm belies his age. Douglas, whose Philadelphia front-office career was intertwined with Curry’s, stated that the 6-foot-3, 265-pound lineman plays with as much energy as a rookie.
Douglas said, “You can feel it coming from him when he is on the field.”
Curry explained that he returned because he felt validated by his hard work and to repay a financial debt to the company. He was disappointed that he couldn't play last season, even though it wasn't his fault. It's called competitive guilt.
“Now, with God’s grace, I feel better than ever,” he said. My body was off football for a year, but I didn't stop training. So I feel like I am in peak physical condition and I'm ready for anything. I am already a hyper, high energy dude. But I work harder every day to be even more hyper.