Curry, who had been enjoying a breakout season for the Oakland Raiders after making the transition from college quarterback to NFL wide receiver, tore his Achilles tendon during a 34-27 loss to Kansas City and later underwent surgery. The Raiders acquired Moss for the No. 7 overall pick in the draft from the Minnesota Vikings.
"It was mixed feelings," said Curry, who is entering his fourth NFL season. "Obviously, I came into this year knowing that if I got healthy, I'd be a starter. I'm basically sitting where I was last year. Moss and JP (Porter) are going to draw a lot of coverage but I think I'll still be the guy that opens those guys up."
Moss and re-signed Jerry Porter catching passes from Kerry Collins looks like a deadly combination that could be even more potent if Curry returns to full strength. The Raiders, and Curry, might have reason to be hopeful that he will return to full strength after what's expected to be six months of rehabilitation. Curry had the same injury to his right Achilles' tendon during his college days at North Carolina.
"It's a lot of hard work," Curry said of his rehabilitation. "I knew what I was up against. I've been there once in college. I knew it was capable of being done. Me and (trainer) Mark Mayer kept grinding and grinding. I didn't get to get home this year."
Curry recorded what was, at the time, team-leading 50 catches for 679 yards and six touchdowns receiving. Curry's development last season was one thing that stemmed from Oakland's willingness to part ways with Tim Brown and later Jerry Rice.
"I wasn't the No. 1 guy before," Curry said. "Jerry Porter was the No. 1 guy. I was making plays but Jerry Porter is the go-to- man."
Curry was carted off late in that game and needed crutches to leave the stadium. Curry said he felt like "somebody pushed it in" and his feet came down hard to the turf, but he doesn't consider the injury to be as bad as when he tore the right one in 1999.
The injury took place when he took a hard hit from Chiefs safety Willie Pile on a 22-yard catch with 5:46 left in the fourth quarter. Curry had nine catches for a career-high 141 yards, a Raiders season high, and two touchdowns in that game.
The Raiders, who begin training camp today in Napa, CA, will plan to have Curry take the practice field one time every other day for the first week.
"I can run every route," said Curry, who has been running the last two months. "I got tripped up a couple of times playing basketball. I'm full go. The only thing is that it gets sore. I'm 100 percent as far as running. If we're out there for two hours, I can probably only give them about one hour and forty minutes. The ligaments around the Achilles are not as strong."
Vince D'Adamo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org