Commanders' Kam Curl confirms he had thumb surgery but hopes to play Week 1

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Curl confirms he had thumb surgery but hopes to play Week 1 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

ASHBURN, Va. -- Just six days before the 2022 regular season opener, the status of one of the Washington Commanders' best defensive players is up in the air.

Safety Kam Curl, who was seen wearing a sling during last Wednesday's practice, worked on the side field on Monday while sporting a short-arm cast on his right thumb. Following practice, Curl spoke with reporters and offered some more insight on the injury.

"It was just a little slight thumb injury," Curl said. "It happened in the [preseason] game [versus Kansas City]. A freak accident."

Curl did not remember which specific play he hurt his thumb. The third-year veteran sounded somewhat hopeful about his availability for Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, however, and said he would play in a cast or club if that's what it would take for him to get back on the field.

"Yeah, I want to play every game," Curl said. It's my job to play football and that's what I want to do."

Curl confirmed he did have surgery on his thumb following the injury, which The Athletic's Ben Standig first reported. Keeping his thumb in a cast should allow the incision from the procedure to heal, he noted. Both Curl and the team are "trying to be careful with it," even with the opener just a handful of days away.

The safety later admitted that dealing with this injury so close to the season has been frustrating, but he's trying to be as patient as possible and let it heal. Curl is one of Washington's most versatile and important pieces on defense, so getting him back to full health as soon as possible is vital.

Head coach Ron Rivera has declined to give insight on any of the team's injuries over the past week, citing that the team's first official injury report will be released following practice on Wednesday. Following Curl's practice availability, this week's report will be telling about his status come Sunday.

A seventh-round pick in 2020, Curl has seen his defensive responsibilities grow each year under coordinator Jack Del Rio. While this injury is a slight bump in the road, Curl believes the work he put in this offseason and in training camp has set him up well for a big year.

"Every play, every snap I'm trying to be the best safety on the field, the best player on the field. That's the goal," Curl said. "I'm trying to be the best one in the league. Everything I worked for in the offseason, here in practice, just letting the results show for itself. ... They've put more on my plate, so I have to show I can handle it."