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'Helpless' In '09, Curtis Focused On Getting Healthy

Kevin Curtis has but one goal this off-season: getting healthy.

Since catching 77 passes for 1,110 yards in his first season in Philadelphia in 2007, sports hernia and knee injuries have limited Curtis to just 39 receptions the last two seasons.

Curtis says the sports hernia is behind him. As for his knee, he's "not quite where I need to be" with it.

"I've been pretty fortunate until these last two years with injuries," Curtis said Sunday afternoon as players cleaned out their lockers. "It's just a matter of being healthy, I know I can play. It's just a matter of getting back to that stage. That's my focus."

Curtis' sore knee has been an issue for him since mini-camp. He played through it and started the season opener at Carolina, posting 2 catches in that game for 26 yards. The following week, Curtis caught 3 balls for 44 yards against the Saints. He was shut down after that and underwent arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 24 in Utah. However, the team opted not to place him on season-ending injured reserve.

Curtis worked at his rehab and was pressed into service Dec. 20 against San Francisco. With rookie Jeremy Maclin out with a foot injury, Curtis suited up and caught one pass for 7 yards. That was the last time we saw No. 80 on the football field.

"I felt pretty helpless all year," said Curtis, who was inactive for all but three games this season. "Obviously, it was not an ideal year. I didn't really play much, I wasn't healthy."

Meanwhile, Curtis' injuries have meant more opportunities for young receivers like DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, who have blossomed and arguably enter 2010 as Nos. 1 and 2 on the depth chart at receiver.

"The young guys, they're incredible players," Curtis said. "It's been neat to see them come along and make progress."

Still, Curtis believes he can still contribute to the team's fortunes in some way ... provided, of course, that he's healthy.

"I want to play. I want to play as much as possible," Curtis said. "I know I have to be healthy. I know if I can do that, I can definitely contribute and help."

Curtis proved he could overcome injury and contribute in 2008. The veteran receiver played just nine regular-season games that season because of a sports hernia, but did return to catch 12 passes for 211 yards in three playoff games.

As the 2010 off-season officially begins, Curtis' goal is getting his knee back to 100 percent.

"I know I can play, and I know I need to be healthy to do so. I'm not worried about anything else," Curtis said. "I know I can play as long as I'm healthy."

-- Posted by Bob Kent, 10:22 p.m., January 10

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