Amari Cooper Opens Up on Injury, Reveals Timeline for Return

Amari Cooper

Getty Amari Cooper

Amari Cooper broke his silence on the pseudo-mysterious foot ailment currently holding the Dallas Cowboys‘ star wide receiver out of action.

Holding court with reporters at The Star Tuesday, Cooper admitted he is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, an injury that was initially classified as a heel bruise.

And deja vu for the 25-year-old.

“I’m not worried about it at all, because I know if it does linger, it doesn’t matter,” Cooper said, via the Cowboys’ official website. “I had 1,000 yards on a plantar fasciitis foot, so I’m not really worried.”

Fact check: True.

Cooper, the No. 4 overall pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2015, was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis — inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes — as a rookie. He gutted through it, starting 15 of 16 regular season games and catching 72 passes for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns, earning his first Pro Bowl selection.

The injury popped up again earlier this month. Cooper hasn’t practiced since Aug. 3 and likely won’t play in Dallas’ two remaining preseason contests. But he’s unnerved, classifying the pain as a three on a scale of 1-10.

“Like I said, it’s not really that bad – especially just walking around,” he said, adding the pain is “subsiding.” “But to do the things that I do on the field, obviously, I’ll be cutting really hard, stopping really hard, those things. I haven’t tried to really do that, so I couldn’t really tell you.”

Traded to Big D during the 2018 campaign in exchange for a first-round choice, Cooper appeared in nine regular-season games with the Cowboys, collecting 53 receptions for 725 yards and six touchdowns while becoming a go-to target for franchise quarterback Dak Prescott — both of whom are now seeking lucrative contract extensions.

Provided he suffers no setbacks, and given how the team has employed a safer-than-sorry approach, Cooper will be all systems go for the Cowboys’ regular season opener against the New York Giants on Sept. 8.

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Cooper Not Practicing

Despite his optimistic outlook, Cooper was held out of practice Tuesday as the Cowboys returned to headquarters following their preseason victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Hawaii. He didn’t hit the field Wednesday, either.

It’s by design, as Dallas will sit Cooper for the remainder of the week prior to Saturday’s regular season dress rehearsal against the Houston Texans, head coach Jason Garrett confirmed. The hope, Garrett said, is that Cooper resumes practicing Monday.

… And No Closer to New Deal

Cooper is entering the final year of his four-year, $22.6 million rookie contract he inked with Oakland. Playing on his fifth-year option, he’s set to count $13.294 million against the salary cap for 2019 before hitting unrestricted free agency next March.

The Cowboys won’t allow Cooper to reach the open market, barring a shocking breakdown in negotiations. But such discussions haven’t yielded progress toward an extension for Cooper, who’s battling Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott over bigger pieces of the proverbial pie that owner Jerry Jones admits is quickly being gobbled up.

READ NEXT: Ezekiel Elliott Flies Back to Cabo Following Jerry Jones’ Shade

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter @KelbermanNFL

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