The term of the week in the sporting world is “load management.”
You’ve heard it, in regards to Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard sitting out a nationally televised game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. The NBA season is long and some teams are into giving their stars occasional nights off. Nobody really likes it, but it’s probably not changing.
There’s not really “load management” in the NFL, though some teams are more careful than others with injured players. And there has been speculation about how injured Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Green were as they sat out with trade (Ramsey) and contract (Green) disputes going on.
If you hate the whole load management arrangement, you’ll like what Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper had to say.
Amari Cooper’s reason for playing through injury
Cooper is dealing with a knee injury. Most players are dealing with something at this point. Cooper doesn’t sound like he even wants to miss a practice, according to his comments to NFL Network’s Jane Slater:
#Cowboys WR Amari Cooper tells me he didn’t pay much attention to the MRI results on left knee when I asked him to explain them. All he cared about was “is it manageable” tells me he was told it was so he will practice tomorrow and hopes to play Sunday.— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) November 7, 2019
He also tells me takes treatment seriously and gets it everyday. I asked him, in a contract year, why he has played through knee, heel and quad issues as hard as he has...”I love football” https://t.co/PcNTJsT0BZ— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) November 7, 2019
“I love football.” The NFL is a business for everyone involved, but it’s still cool to hear that from a player every now and then.
Cooper will try to play Sunday
Now, Cooper wanting to play through injury and ignoring the MRI results in a contract year doesn’t mean anyone else who sits out doesn’t love football. It doesn’t mean NBA players who sit out don’t love basketball either. A lot go into these decisions, and many people have input.
But Cooper wanting to fight through injury to play is noble. Hopefully it doesn’t lead to further injury. The Cowboys staff will presumably take care of him, if for no other reason than they’ll need him for the rest of the season.
If Cooper plays on Sunday night against the Minnesota Vikings (a game that can be live-streamed on the Yahoo Sports app), then keep in mind that he’s playing through injury. And why he’s doing it.
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