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Practice report | Kamren Curl excited for chance to make season debut

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There has been no official word on whether Kamren Curl will make his season debut against the Philadelphia Eagles, but it seems like things are pointing in that direction.

Curl, who injured his thumb against the Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason and missed the first two weeks of the season, was a full participant for Wednesday and Thursday's practice. His presence has been sorely missed by a defense that has given up 404 yards per game, and based on his mood in the locker room, he is anxious to get back on the field.

"That's the plan," Curl said Wednesday. "We're taking it day by day. Hopefully, I'll be out there Sunday."

Curl was wearing a cast that wrapped around his entire hand when the season began, but he has since removed that in place of one that only encases his thumb. The team wanted to wait until his hand healed from his surgery before putting him through ball drills, but he reached that milestone this week.

As the Commanders wrap up their week of preparations, there appears to be no limitations on the third-year pro.

"My regular season got delayed," Curl said. "I didn't really like that, but I just had to be patient. When I get back on the field, [I want to] give it my all."

Curl, a seventh-round pick from two seasons ago, has become one of the Commanders' most important defensive players. His position flexibility has made him invaluable to the coaching staff, which has not been shy about utilizing him at different spots. He recorded 99 tackles last season, which was second on the team and 10th-best among all safeties.

When asked about the possibility of getting Curl back in the lineup on Wednesday, head coach Ron Rivera cracked a smile.

"There's a familiarity with Kam's play," he said. "He's a guy that can give you a little bit of presence in the box as well, a little bit more than the other safeties. He's a nice sized body, very physical football player, very smart football player, very heads up guy, communicates very well out there, too."

To say that the Commanders could use Curl against the Eagles would be an understatement. Philadelphia boasts the league's most productive offense through two weeks with a rush attack that averages nearly 190 yards per contest.

Having played against the Eagles the past two seasons, Curl knows what kind of challenges they and quarterback Jalen Hurts present.

"He's a pretty good quarterback," Curl said. "He can run the ball. He can throw the ball. He's got some weapons, but it's our job to stop him."

Curl is also familiar with the level of physicality he will face during the Commanders' first NFC East matchup of the season. His advice: "Wear your seatbelt."

"You're gonna be hitting somebody every play," Curl said. "It's a rivalry game. It's that much more physical, and it's that much more important."

Here are some more notes from Thursday:

-- Rivera heaped praise on Jahan Dotson’s route running, and offensive coordinator Scott Turner added to that by saying the rookie has good balance and body control.

"The best way I would describe him is that he is always under control. And I think that's why you have seen him make those adjustments that he's made with catching the ball."

-- Everyone knows that Carson Wentz is preparing to play his former team this week. While that might rattle some, Turner said that Wentz has done a good job of focusing on the task at hand.

"Carson's always really locked in. It's been business as usual," Turner said. "He's approaching this as you would approach any other team."

-- Turner also spoke on the importance of motion in his offense. In addition to creating more opportunities for the players, it also helps the quarterback uncover what the defense is in and creates uncertainty for the unit.

"Just anything we try to do to try to make the defense play a little slower than they normally do."

-- Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio gave his evaluation of Hurts. The quarterback has always been competitive, he said, but he has been playing "a little more polished" over the past two weeks.

"They've done a great job surrounding him with playmakers and their offensive line is very talented and he's a good football player. So that's a good group."

-- Del Rio was also impressed with wide receiver A.J. Brown, who he described as a "big, strong, talented, wide receiver" that adds another weapon to the Eagles' offense.

"I think their tight end's really good. I think their back's really good. I think they have a really big, strong, talented, offensive line. It's a good football team. We're looking forward to the challenge."

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