The curious case of Amari Cooper has yet to be cracked.
For the last four consecutive training camp practices, dating to Aug. 28, the Dallas Cowboys‘ star wide receiver watched his teammates from afar. He’s been a non-participant or, at best, limited to auxiliary work off to the side with the training staff.
It was more of the same Thursday for Dallas’ final session before Saturday’s roster cutdown deadline — 10 days removed from Week 1.
Cowboys have downplayed situation involving WR Amari Cooper. And indeed, perhaps he will be full go in next Sunday’s opener vs. Rams. But it is notable he’s been a limited to non-participant the past four practices (since Aug. 28). Worked today on resistance cords with trainer.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 3, 2020
It’s unclear what, if anything, is plaguing Cooper, who battled multiple lower-leg/foot injuries in 2019 en route to a 79-catch, 1,189-yard, eight-touchdown campaign and his fourth career Pro Bowl selection.
Is he hurt again? Are the Cowboys merely managing a sixth-year veteran’s reps?
The situation remains a mystery, and Dallas’ brain trust has done little to clear up the vagaries.
“We have some of the most sophisticated health measuring systems in place,” owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Tuesday, via the team’s official website. “And, so, some of them are as sophisticated as they can tell you how you’re literally, in layman’s terms, how your muscles are firing.”
“Not at all” concerned, Jones added: “If you’ve got a player that maybe has been tearing their — just been tearing it up and has been performing at an extraordinary level for him or his measureables in the background, you pull him back some because those are times you could be vulnerable to a pull. That’s come into play.”
Pressed Wednesday, head coach Mike McCarthy was tight-lipped on Cooper’s status, divulging only that he’s the elder statesmen of the WR corps. McCarthy stopped well short of addressing a potential injury.
“It’s training camp—everyone has something,” he said, per USA Today.
Cooper enjoyed a fine camp prior to his mothballing, and until additional information is released, there’s no reason to doubt his availability for the Sept. 13 opener against the Los Angeles Rams.
His health is central to the Cowboys’ top-ranked aerial attack, which now features as-advertised first-round rookie CeeDee Lamb to pair with 2019 breakout performer Michael Gallup.
“The expectation,” Cooper told reporters last month, “is to have three 1,000-yard receivers this year.”
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