Former Alabama WR Amari Cooper caught 72 passes for more than 1,000 yards and went to the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2015, and he thinks he could have done more had it not been for a late-season foot injury.
Cooper, the No. 4 overall pick by the Oakland Raiders last year, suffered the injury in practice in Week 14. He said the injury “affected my whole game,” according to NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling
“Talk about a foot injury, you can’t release how you want to, you can’t come out of your breaks how you want to,” Cooper said. “You can only get open in two ways, off of the line or out of your breaks.”
The struggle was obvious in Cooper’s performance. He averaged 37.5 receiving yards over the team’s final four games, and that average was skewed by a 120-yard performance against Green Bay. It was serious enough that Oakland considered shutting Cooper down for the year.
“So it really affected my game, but I was mentally tough and I fought through it,” Cooper said.
The second-year wideout said he didn’t even watch the film of his rookie season because the injury changed his game so much. He still managed to finish the season as the first rookie in Raider history to total more than 1,000 receiving yards. If he remains healthy this season, he and everyone else should have a lot of film worth watching.