The Dallas Cowboys will be heading into training camp hoping to have their full complement of players back, or at least working on the sidelines to get ready for the upcoming season. Unfortunately, it may be that Cowboys star receiver Amari Cooper won’t be ready in time to begin training camp thanks to nagging irritation in his ankle. Cooper had surgery on the ankle back in January of this year after injuring it in the season-finale against the New York Giants.
Cooper, at one point, was able to start working out on the ankle but has been hampered as of late with this irritation which is now putting his training camp in doubt according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport in June.
RapSheet: From @NFLTotalAccess: #Cowboys WR Amari Cooper may not be ready for training camp as he rests with hopes that an irritation in his ankle will calm down, while #Falcons WR Calvin Ridley underwent minor foot surgery. pic.twitter.com/camEnjwHXe— NFL Trade News (@NFLTradeNews) June 12, 2021
Mike Fisher writes that the Cowboys aren’t concerned about Cooper's ankle, but Cooper’s had a history of issues with his ankles and feet in the past. Fisher reports that a source believes that Cooper will be “cutting it close” for the start of camp workouts. Here’s a list of foot and ankle related injuries he’s sustained during his time in the NFL according to SportsInjuryPredictor.com
Jan 3, 2021 - Pedal Ankle Fracture
Sep 25, 2019 - Pedal Ankle Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1
Aug 3, 2019 - Pedal Foot Sprain
Dec 10, 2017 - Pedal Ankle Sprain Grade 2
Nov 26, 2017 - Pedal Ankle Sprain Grade 2
Dec 10, 2015 - Pedal Foot Plantar Fasciitis Grade 1
This has to at least concern the Cowboys a bit even though they are saying that they have no problem with his recovery timetable heading into training camp. They’ve invested a lot of money in Cooper, and while he’s performed well on the field, he has continued to be slowed down a bit by these injuries. The Cowboys have another talented receiver, Michael Gallup, who may not be on Cooper’s level, coming into a contract year and has really only sustained one injury, a meniscus tear (knee) back on Sep 15, 2019, against the Washington Football Team. Gallup came back from that injury last season and played well for the Cowboys considering the loss of starting quarterback Dak Prescott.
The Cowboys may not be actively thinking about shedding Cooper’s contract to keep Gallup, but the thought has to be in the back of their minds. Keeping a player with mounting injury concerns who also has a large contract is a very risky venture, and most teams who are in this same situation are, at some point, going to be looking to move on from said player. The Cowboys might not be there yet, but if this ankle issue lingers into the season for Cooper, this may not be the last we hear of possible Cowboys discussions about keeping Gallup over Cooper.