Cooper even considered skipping the Pro Bowl because he didn’t think he deserved the honor.
The No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft played through a mid-November quadriceps injury and suffered the foot injury in practice leading up to Week 14.
Prior to those two ailments, he was on pace for 82 receptions, 1,306 yards and eight touchdowns. The first rookie since Mike Ditka in 1961 with three 100-yard performances in his first six career games, Cooper was so dominant by Halloween that NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah was inspired to pick the Raiders’ greenhorn over record-setting Odell Beckham as the young wide receiver with the highest upside.
A rare receiver with precision route running, explosiveness after the catch and downfield tracking ability on 50/50 balls, Cooper was integral to Derek Carr’s early-season breakout performance. It should have come as no surprise, then, that Cooper’s injuries contributed to Carr’s late-season slump.
Prior to Week 12, Carr boasted a 63-percent completion rate at 7.66 yards per attempt with a 24:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 101.5 passer rating. Those numbers plummeted to 56 percent, 5.6 YPA, 8:7 TD-to-INT ratio and a 71.1 passer rating in the final five games.
With Cooper back to full health and poised to emerge as a weekly difference maker, the Raiders’ aerial attack should return to the heights of last September and October.
This week, tons of news on quarterbacks’ Case Keenum, Jared Goff, and the now exiled Nick Foles. Plus, news finally on Tr’e Mason, and Rams head coach Jeff Fisher cranks up some love for Keenum as the starter in Los Angeles. And after a couple of decades, the team makes an appearance in the Coliseum.
Goff reps with second team
Jared Goff, the number #1 overall selection in this year’s NFL draft, has been relegated to working with the second unit in practice this past week. hard to say, and depending on whom you listen to, if this is the way to get your would be franchise quarterback ready, but Jeff Fisher is committed to a plan, despite what the conventional wisdom may say.
Tr’e going nowhere fast
Tr’e Mason has a lofe seeminly spiraling out of control. Whether he plays football in 2016, or anytime in the future remains to be seen. But one thing is certain, given the reports just this week, this is a guy who has got to get it together, and not just to play football.
Rookie cornerback Brandon Williams was listed as one of the Cardinals’ starting cornerbacks opposite Patrick Peterson on Arizona’s first depth chart of the preseason. Though coach Bruce Arians said the depth chart was written with “invisible ink,” Arians said the starting job is Williams’ to lose. The third-round pick doesn’t feel any pressure to keep the job as incumbent starter Justin Bethel slowly gets healthier. “No pressure at all,” Williams said. “You only got pressure when you’re not prepared, not working, not working hard. There’s no pressure on me because I’m doing both of those things.” — Josh Weinfuss