Amari Cooper takes a licking but keeps on ticking.
The Cowboys‘ star wide receiver has gutted through multiple lower-body injuries this season — issues with his heel, ankle, quad, and knee. The latter is the most concerning heading into the 2019 stretch run.
And that concern was intensified Thursday, when Cooper took a hard shot to his bum left knee during Dallas’ meeting with the Buffalo Bills, resulting in a scary tumble and brief exit from the 26-15 loss.
“Guy just hit me on my knee. I flipped over,” Cooper said, per the team’s website. “Getting it looked at more tomorrow.”
Fortunately, the Cowboys’ worries were allayed. Testing showed no structural damage to Cooper’s knee, ESPN’s Todd Archer reported Friday.
What’s more, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he expects Cooper to play in the club’s Week 14 road matchup at Chicago next Thursday night.
This is a best-case scenario after it appeared the two-time Pro Bowler suffered a re-aggravation (or worse) due to a low fourth-quarter tackle from Bills cornerback Taron Johnson, whose helmet made direct contact with Cooper’s knee. The Cowboys’ leading receiver was tended to on the field by the medical staff but missed just two plays before returning.
Cooper — who took an MRI earlier this month that revealed a knee contusion — finished the contest and paced Dallas with eight catches on 11 targets for 85 yards, the seventh time this season he’s cleared 80 receiving yards.
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Connor Williams Tears ACL, Done for Year
Injury news wasn’t all positive for the Cowboys on Friday. Garrett confirmed in his conference with reporters that starting left guard Connor Williams sustained a torn ACL against the Bills and is out for the remainder of the season.
Williams left the game in the second quarter following an Ezekiel Elliott run; his teammates could be seen motioning for the medical staff while he was down on the field. Incredibly, Williams returned a short time later, attempting to play on the shredded ligament, but once again departed and was ruled out.
Thanksgiving represented Williams’ second appearance since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this month, initially injured against the Vikings on Nov. 10. He was expected to be sidelined indefinitely but missed only the Cowboys’ Week 11 win over the Detroit Lions.
Xavier Su’a-Filo will take over as the starter in place of Williams, who’s ticketed for surgery in 2-4 weeks. The Cowboys’ offensive line has its work cut out with the Bears, whose defense ranks fourth in points allowed, fifth in total yards, eighth in rushing, and ninth versus the pass. As a team, they’ve registered 28 sacks, which places them in a tie for 17th-most in the league.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL