FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets defensive end Vinny Curry was diagnosed last month with a rare blood disorder that required the removal of his spleen and triggered complications that will cause him to miss the entire season, he revealed Wednesday in a statement.
In an Instagram post, Curry, 33, a starter on the Philadelphia Eagles' 2017 Super Bowl championship team, said he was initially projected to return in the middle of September. But he explained that blood clots formed and forced him to go on blood thinners. That, he said, prevented him from having physical contact for three to six months.
Curry said he's planning to play in 2022.
"While I am incredibly disappointed that I will not be able to play with my teammates this year, I am thankful that the doctors identified my condition in time," he said. "They have informed me that I am expected to make a full recovery and return to the field next season.
"I am grateful to all those who have reached out to me on the phone, through social media and in person. I can promise them all that I will be back stronger and more determined than ever."
On Tuesday, Curry became ineligible to play this season when the Jets moved him to the reserve/non-football injury list from the exempt/NFI list. They didn't give a reason.
At the start of training camp, coach Robert Saleh said the team expected him to return around Week 2 in the regular season. That was before the complications.
"We were blessed that we were able to find some things that were going unnoticed," Saleh said Wednesday.
"He's been so productive in his career. [We'll miss] his leadership, first and foremost, and just his overall energy and positivity that he brings. It hurts."
In March, Curry signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract with the Jets. The deal had no signing bonus, but his $1.0745 million base salary was fully guaranteed. The plan was to make him a situational pass-rusher.
Without Curry and Carl Lawson (season-ending Achilles injury), the Jets are hurting at defensive end. The likely starters are John Franklin-Myers and Bryce Huff. The Jets are exploring possible trades.
"It's always easy to play the fictional game of 'Let's go get somebody,'" Saleh said. "The reality is, they're few and far between in terms of what's available."
In other injury news, left tackle Mekhi Becton was placed in the concussion protocol after a head-to-head collision in Tuesday's joint practice with the Eagles. Becton and rookie left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker are expected to miss Friday's game against the Eagles. Vera-Tucker has returned to practice after missing most of camp with a strained pectoral muscle, but the team is being cautious.
Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson is likely to play Friday. Saleh said he's leaning toward playing his starters in the first half, but he said the staff will discuss it before a final decision is made.