Riley Cooper Rejoins Eagles After Counseling for Racial SlurErik Matuszewski
Riley Cooper rejoined the Philadelphia Eagles at training camp, four days after being excused from team activities for counseling sparked by a video in which he used a racial slur.
Cooper, a 25-year-old wide receiver, said on Aug. 2 that his actions were inexcusable and he was leaving the National Football League club to seek professional help. The Eagles last week fined Cooper an undisclosed amount after a video of him using the slur at a Kenny Chesney concert last month circulated on the Internet.
“I’m going to live with this every day for the rest of my life,” Cooper told reporters after practice today. “It’s one of those things you can’t let it affect your play on the field and that’s what I’m going to strive to do.”
Cooper participated in a joint practice today between the Eagles and New England Patriots in Philadelphia and caught several touchdown passes during 11-on-11 drills. The Eagles are scheduled to host the Patriots on Aug. 9 in their first preseason game.
“It felt great being out there and running around and making plays, that’s what I live to do,” said Cooper, a former fifth-round draft pick who’s entering his fourth year with the Eagles. “I’m just going to try to move forward and hopefully people judge me from here on out.”
Cooper may have a more prominent role in new coach Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense following a season-ending injury to Jeremy Maclin, who led the team in receptions last year. Cooper said addressing and apologizing to his teammates after the video became public was the hardest thing he’s ever done.
While Kelly said Cooper will play in the preseason opener if he continues to practice well, he added that the team recognizes the seriousness of what he did.
“This isn’t something that we just put in the back seat and then get moving forward,” Kelly told reporters after practice. “We’ll make sure we keep our eyes and ears open and continue to monitor the situation.”