Jets defensive lineman Vinny Curry will miss the rest of the season after finding out he has a rare blood disorder that required his spleen to be removed. Kathy Willens/Associated Press

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Defensive end Vinny Curry announced Wednesday he has a rare blood disorder that required his spleen to be removed.

Curry, 33, wrote in a post on Twitter that Jets team doctors discovered the disorder last month, but he didn’t specify the condition ailing him. Curry said he was projected to return to the field in mid-September, but he developed blood clots that prevent him from having physical contact for the next three to six months.

“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,” Curry wrote. “They have informed me that I am expected to make a full recovery and return to the field next season.”

Curry, a nine-year NFL veteran, signed with the Jets in March. He spent eight of his first nine seasons with the Eagles, tallying 32.5 sacks. He was expected to help boost their pass rush, but he had been on the active/non-football injury list throughout training camp. He was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list Tuesday, ending his season.

BRONCOS: Coach Vic Fangio informed the team that Teddy Bridgewater has edged incumbent Drew Lock to win the starting quarterback job. For much of training camp, the QB clash was a drudging one in which neither passer strung together stellar performances from one day to the next, and sometimes not even from one drill to another.

Both of them elevated their play in the preseason, however. Lock had a splashy game at Minnesota in the preseason opener, but Bridgewater won the job with a stellar relief performance against the Vikings and an outstanding start at Seattle.


Bridgewater will become the 11th quarterback to start for Denver since Peyton Manning retired after winning Super Bowl 50. The Broncos are 32-48 since he retired, including Lock’s 8-10 mark over the past two seasons. Bridgewater is 26-23 in his career in Minnesota, New Orleans and Carolina.

JAGUARS: Trevor Lawrence will start Jacksonville’s season opener at Houston on Sept. 12, one of the least surprising decisions in franchise history. Coach Urban Meyer gave Lawrence the nod over third-year pro Gardner Minshew after two preseason games and a month of training camp. Meyer expects Lawrence will never have to earn a starting job in the NFL again.

“You can capitalize that if you want. Underline it. Cap it,” Meyer said.

Lawrence, the top pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and Minshew, a two-year starter in Jacksonville, split repetitions with the first-team offense during camp. Meyer wanted “healthy competition” at every position, including quarterback. Nonetheless, just about everyone outside Minshew’s camp expected Lawrence to be Jacksonville’s starter in Houston. Lawrence was the No. 1 pick, the top college prospect in nearly a decade, and outperformed Minshew at every turn during camp.

SEAHAWKS: Tight end Luke Willson said he’s stepping away from football, one day after re-signing with Seattle.

In a lengthy statement on social media, Willson said after being back in the building and participating in practice with the Seahawks on Tuesday he realized it was time to move on.


Willson said he spent time in the hospital during the offseason due to a pericardial effusion. He said the hospitalization changed his “perspective on a lot of things with respect to my life.”

“After reflecting on everything yesterday and being in the building, I have decided that it’s time for me to begin with the next chapter of my life,” Willson wrote.

Willson was a fan favorite and has been a part of the Seahawks for most of his NFL career, which started in 2013. He played three games for Baltimore last season before rejoining the Seahawks and playing in five more games.

COWBOYS: Offensive lineman Connor Williams and safety Damontae Kazee have joined the list of Dallas players under COVID-19 protocols, bringing the total to six, along with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

Williams and Kazee tested positive for COVID-19, Coach Mike McCarthy said. Williams practiced Tuesday, while Kazee was absent because he was being tested. The other players out because of health and safety protocols are defensive tackle Carlos Watkins, receiver CeeDee Lamb and safety Malik Hooker. Safety Israel Mukuamu was on the list but returned to practice Wednesday.

McCarthy said he didn’t have a time frame for the return of anyone on the COVID-19 list. The preseason finale for Dallas is Sunday at home against Jacksonville. The opener is Sept. 9 at defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay.


TITANS: Tennessee linebacker Harold Landry has become the fifth person and first starter affected by the Titans’ latest virus outbreak and was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Coach Mike Vrabel announced Sunday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 a day after the Titans beat Tampa Bay 34-3 in Florida. Vrabel later received monoclonal antibodies treatment.

Landry started that game and played six snaps. He spoke to reporters after practice Monday but didn’t practice Tuesday. That’s when the Titans stepped up precautions, including wearing masks inside the team’s headquarters, and also conducted rapid tests on everyone regardless of vaccination status.

Now Landry joins defensive lineman Anthony Rush, linebacker Nick Dzubnar and running back Jeremy McNichols on the reserve/COVID-19 list, which is for players who either test positive for the virus or are in quarantine after close contact with an infected person.

GIANTS: Star running back Saquon Barkley needs to be in some live contact drills if is to play in the Giants’ season opener in less than three weeks, Coach Joe Judge said.

Barkley, who had a major knee injury early last season, has not practiced at full speed since training camp late last month. He was excused from a workout on Wednesday as New York held the first of two joint practices with the New England Patriots.


He is expected back with the team on Thursday, but it is looking less likely he will be ready for the NFL season opener against Denver on Sept. 12 at MetLife Stadium.

• Veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph is finally getting on the field, at least on a limited basis. He passed his physical and was taken off the physically unable to perform/active list. He had offseason foot surgery and had been unable to practice since training camp started just under a month ago.

One of the team’s biggest acquisitions in free agency, it is uncertain whether Rudolph will be ready for the season opener on Sept. 12 at home against Denver. He spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Minnesota Vikings, playing in 140 regular-season games and catching 48 touchdown passes, but had only one last season.

Evan Engram is the team’s top pass-catching threat at tight end. Rudolph was expected to offer quarterback Daniel Jones a second option and also help with the run blocking.

49ERS: Coach Kyle Shanahan is pretty sure who will start at quarterback to open the season for the San Francisco 49ers, even if he’s in no rush to let everyone else know whether it’s Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance.

Shanahan has said he will wait possibly up until the season opener on Sept. 12 at Detroit to announce his starter but also has said nothing has changed since the start of training camp when Garoppolo came in as the No. 1.


THE NFL has mandated that only fully vaccinated personnel, with a maximum of 50 people, will have access to locker rooms while players are present on game days.

In a memo sent to the 32 teams and obtained by The Associated Press, the policy becomes effective immediately. The personnel covered by the policy includes coaches, athletic trainers, equipment staffers, one general manager, one team security representative, three club communications media workers and one clubhouse support staffer.

Players are not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but the NFL has reported that more than 90% of them are.

One team COVID-19 protocol coordinator may also access the locker room for managing Kinexon devices (which are used for contact tracing, social distancing and a person’s whereabouts) or to perform disinfection required by league protocols without counting against the maximum of 50. All such individuals must be fully vaccinated.

BILLS: Buffalo signed wide receiver Steven Sims to address an injury- and coronavirus-depleted position. Sims spent his first two NFL seasons in Washington, where he had 61 catches for 575 yards and scored seven touchdowns, including one rushing and another on a kickoff return, in 28 career games.

The Bills suddenly are thin at receiver as they prepare to close their preseason schedule by hosting the Green Bay Packers on Saturday. Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis must spend five days in self-quarantine after being placed on the COVID-19/reserve list. Veterans Stefon Diggs and Emmanuel Sanders aren’t expected to see much – if any – playing time against the Packers, with both recently returning to practice after missing several weeks because of injuries.

PACKERS: Wide receiver Devin Funchess has been placed on injured reserve after hurting his hamstring in a joint practice with the New York Jets last week.

The move ends the season for Funchess, who hasn’t played a regular-season game since September 2019.

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