Commanders' Curl set to make season debut vs. Eagles originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Curl, 23, has missed both of the Commanders' games this year after suffering a right thumb injury in Washington's second preseason contest against the Chiefs on Aug. 20.
The third-year veteran has been a full participant in practice the entire week. Curl spoke with reporters Wednesday and said he does not have any more pain in his thumb.
It's worth noting that Curl has worn either a splint, wrap or brace for each of the Commanders' practices since the injury. Curl declined to share what protective measures he'd wear on his thumb during the game, but insisted it won't hamper him in any way.
"I don't [have any] challenges," Curl said. "I can still catch the ball. I got a lot of stuff I can do with my game."
With Curl back in the mix, second-year safety Darrick Forrest -- who started in Curl's place and played admirably the first two weeks -- is expected to return to the Buffalo nickel role.
"[Curl's return] gets us back to the original Buffalo we had going into the season, obviously, with he and DFoe [Darrick Forrest] back on the field at the same time," head coach Ron Rivera told reporters following Friday's practice. "What it gives us is a bigger body and bigger presence as far as safety is concerned in the box. So, you feel good about that."
Curl's return comes at an important time for the Commanders' defense. Jack Del Rio's unit is coming off a rough showing in Detroit; Lions quarterback Jared Goff threw for 256 yards and four touchdowns in their victory over Washington. Jaguars signal-caller Trevor Lawrence threw for 275 yards the week prior against that same Burgundy and Gold defense.
Things won't get any easier for the group this weekend when Jalen Hurts and the high-flying Eagles offense arrive at FedEx Field. Hurts put on a clinic in Philadelphia's Week 2 primetime victory over Minnesota, throwing for 333 yards and a touchdown on an 84% completion rate. Hurts also added 57 yards and two touchdowns with his legs.
Curl knows Washington's defense has a tall task ahead. Yet, the safety believes his group is ready for the challenge.
"Limit the weapons they got, just make plays on defense, just fly around and play our game," Curl said when asked the keys to slow down Philly's offense. "I feel like if we play our game, we'll come out of there with the [win]."
In recent years, Eagles-Commanders matchups have been hard-fought, physical games. Curl expects this Sunday to be no different.
"You're going to wake up Monday morning feeling like you were in a car wreck," he said. "You're going to be hitting somebody every play. It's a rival game."