ALAMEDA, Calif. – Linebacker Aaron Curry has returned to practice with the Oakland Raiders for the first time since May after dealing with nagging knee problems in recent months.
Curry began the season on the physically unable to perform list and was unable to practice for the first six weeks. He made his first appearance on the field with his team on Wednesday, starting a three-week window for Oakland to decide whether to activate him, release him or place him on season-ending injured reserve.
Curry is working at all three linebacker spots for now after playing mostly on the weakside last season in his first year with the Raiders.
"He looked good," coach Dennis Allen said. "He moved around well. I think the key is to see how he responds tomorrow and we'll continue to monitor him as we go through the week."
Curry last practiced with the team at OTAs in mid-May. He was shut down later in the offseason program and wasn't ready at the start of training camp. Curry told CSN California during training camp that he underwent stem-cell treatments on both knees using bone marrow from his hips this summer.
Curry, the fourth overall pick by Seattle in 2009, was acquired by Oakland in a midseason trade last year for a seventh-round pick in 2012 and a conditional fifth-rounder in 2013. He played in 11 games, starting nine, for the Raiders and had 32 solo tackles, three passes defensed and two fumble recoveries.
He was expected to start at weakside linebacker but was never healthy enough to practice. Now the Raiders aren't sure where he will be used if he is activated.
"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," Allen said. "That's not a decision that we have to make right now. I think right now the biggest thing is to see where he's at physically, see how he responds to a couple of days of practice, how the knee responds to it. And then we'll make that decision when we need to."
The Raiders have been shuffling things at linebacker. Middle linebacker Rolando McClain, who had usually been on the field all game, was taken out of the nickel package in last week's 23-20 loss to Atlanta.
McClain, the eighth overall pick in 2010, played only 31 percent of the snaps against the Falcons. Rookie Miles Burris played 55 defensive snaps, taking McClain's spot when the Raiders went to two linebackers.
"He responded well, and he actually, he played well," Allen said. "He had his most productive play on a per-play basis in that football game. I think when we went back and looked and saw how many plays that Rolando was playing, it had a factor in his conditioning. We felt like him not playing quite as many plays would help him to play better and be more effective, and I think it had that effect in this game."
Right guard Mike Brisiel also was back at practice Wednesday, three days after leaving a game with a concussion. Brisiel passed all his tests and was allowed back on the field for a full-pad practice.
Brisiel got kneed in the head on a screen pass in the second quarter last week in Atlanta and did not return to the game.
"I got my bell rung pretty good on one of the plays and the new rules, everything's trying to be as basically player-safety conscious as possible, so, I did what I was supposed to do and they allowed me to practice so I'm not going to miss any time," he said.
NOTES: CB Shawntae Spencer (sprained right foot), RT Khalif Barnes (groin), and TE Richard Gordon (hamstring) remained sidelined to start this week. ... TE Mickey Shuler, signed to the practice squad Tuesday, took part in his first practice.
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