Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Thursday that the Pro Bowl wide receiver, listed on the injury report with a hamstring ailment, is expected to start and function normally in the season-opener.
“All these of those guys are on schedule to play in a full capacity this week,” McCarthy said, via USA Today, also alluding to cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (knee) and safety Xavier Woods (groin).
Cooper was considered a full participant Wednesday despite being stationed on the resistance cords, working alongside the training staff, during the portion of practice open to the media.
This has been a common occurrence dating back to Dallas’ final five practices of training camp. Cooper, who signed a five-year, $100 million extension this offseason, was a non-participant or, at best, limited to similar auxiliary exercises, forced to watch his teammates from afar. And the team was cryptically tight-lipped as to why.
“It’s training camp—everyone has something,” McCarthy said on Sept. 2, per USA Today.
Cooper’s ailment is worth monitoring after an injury-plagued 2019 campaign in he led the Cowboys with 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns on 79 catches. Hamstrings are notoriously tricky to rehab due to a high aggravation rate, particularly for a player who relies on his expert route-running.
But unless he suffers a setback in the next 48 hours, Cooper will be on the field in three-WR sets featuring Michael Gallup and first-round rookie CeeDee Lamb. If he cannot go at 100 percent, Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown would be ticketed for increased snaps.
Dallas will release its final Week 1 injury report following Friday’s practice. It’s possible Cooper draws a questionable tag.
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