Currie Still Hoping to Make an Impact

WR Airese Currie hasn't been able to play football in over a year and he's more than ready to return to the game. Unfortunately for Currie, his first practice with the Bears resulted in a pulled hamstring. As decision time approaches as far as whether or not Currie will be placed on injured reserve or the active roster, he's trying once more to prove that he's ready and able to go.

"It's been difficult for me to be on the sidelines for so long," Currie said. " My foot surgery was a calculated risk. I had to decide whether or not to wait through the draft, then have the procedure, or just go ahead and get this thing over and done with. I had injured myself just over a year ago and knew that I wouldn't be 100% until I had the thing taken care of. So I chose fixing it sooner rather than later."

The Bears fifth round pick out of Clemson had surgery last March to repair a stress fracture in his foot. Since then, his days have been filled with rehab and observing his new team from the sidelines.

"I am not by nature a patient person," Currie said. "But I tried to just suck it up and go through what I had to do to be able to come back. To have been out of football for the past year? That was my worst nightmare. As the date for my return to practice got closer, I was really excited. And that's where things went terribly wrong."

Currie isn't exactly certain how he strained his left hamstring but he suspects that he stretched out too far on a passing route.

"I was so happy to be out there for the first time that I was running all over the place," Currie said. "That was when the weather was warm and I wasn't particularly concerned about protecting myself.

"When it's cold out, I wear insulating sleeves on my legs to keep the heat in. Anyway, things were fine and I was feeling real good when I stepped wrong and felt a pain running up the side of my left leg. I stopped immediately and had it checked by the trainers. They got me off the field and into the locker room. And that ended it. That was the only time I've practiced since I joined the Bears."

Currie returned to the rehab area of the training facility to begin modified physical therapy. Although he returned to practice on Wednesday, he is well aware that time is running out as far as his chances of getting placed on the active roster are concerned.

"I understand that it is important to know sooner rather than later," Currie said. "There is a window of time that we are working with where the coaches must make their decision. This is particularly important since Mark Bradley and Bernard Berrian are out with injuries. The Bears must know who is ready to go at wide receiver and who isn't."

The Bears have until Tuesday to make a decision on Currie and have not ruled out activating him for Sunday's game against the Panthers.

"Mentally, I've been ready for months now," Currie said. "I can only hope that physically, my condition will let me participate as I'd like to."

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