In his seventh NFL season out of Alabama, Cooper has missed just four NFL games: two in 2017 with the Oakland Raiders, and one in 2018, the year he was traded to Dallas. He’s played in all 32 games for the Cowboys in 2019-20, starting 31.
Cooper has been dealing with a rib injury that appeared to threaten his Week 3 game against the L.A. Chargers. Now, it looks like he’ll be good to go once again.
As we near Sunday’s game, Cooper revealed something about his mentality when it comes to playing through injury. At Alabama, he’d often pull himself out of games, which he says “messed up the continuity of everything,” so now he makes sure he’s out there as much as possible.
Amari Cooper said he learned to play hurt at Alabama: “Saban, he put another guy in front of me cause I kind of kept taking myself out the game and it just messed up the continuity of everything so now I just I'd rather play hurt than to be switching with a guy in there.”
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) September 25, 2021
Amari Cooper’s durability dates back to his time in Tuscaloosa. He missed just two games over the course of his Crimson Tide career, both during his sophomore season in 2013.
While most coaches have a “you don’t lose your spot due to injury” policy, in reality we know that isn’t always the case, especially on the 20th anniversary of the week Tom Brady stepped in for Drew Bledsoe. Alabama has produced so many star wide receivers in recent years it is no surprise that someone like Cooper, even as good as he was in college, would be watching his six.
At the same time, playing through legitimate injury can be very dangerous, so hopefully he’s taking care of himself out there, and his trainers make sure he acts in his best interest.
Cooper has 16 receptions for 163 yards and two scores through two games this season, most of which came in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.