Amari Cooper was noticeably absent during the Cleveland Browns' 37-20 win over the New York Jets in Week 17. The veteran wideout missed the blowout victory due to a heel injury that's since held him out of practice this week, leaving Browns fans wondering if he'll be healthy enough to face the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday and, more importantly, to play in the playoffs.
Fortunately for the Cleveland faithful, Cooper had a promising injury update following Thursday's practice. Despite missing his second practice of the week, the 29-year-old playmaker told reporters that he "definitely should be good to go" for the playoffs, per Browns analyst Fred Greetham.
Browns News: Amari Cooper Injury Update
The fact that Cooper's heel is "getting better every day" thanks to "around-the-clock treatment" is great news. Chances are he won't play in Week 18 after failing to practice again, but that's more than fine considering that the Browns are locked into the AFC's No. 5 seed whether they beat or lose to the Bengals.
Nevertheless, there was a chance that Cooper would rest this week regardless of whether he was 100% healthy or not. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski made it clear earlier this week that he's willing to rest players this weekend as long as it's for the betterment of the team.
"You’re just trying to make what’s in the best interest of your football team, whether you play your guys, rest your guys, and as you know, you can’t rest everybody. "- Kevin Stefanski via Pro Football Talk
At the end of the day, the Browns need a healthy Cooper if they hope to go on a deep playoff run. The former Alabama product has turned 72 catches into 1,250 yards and five touchdowns through 15 games and has posted a monstrous 25-485-3 stat line in four games with Joe Flacco as the starting quarterback. That includes Cooper's historic 265-yard, two-TD performance in Week 16.
With fellow WR Elijah Moore currently stuck in concussion protocol, Cleveland needs its WR1 back in top form.
With the playoffs beginning on Jan. 13, Cooper has just over a week to sort his issues out. Even then, the Browns have somewhat of an uphill battle ahead of them this postseason as DraftKings Sportsbook only has them tied for the ninth-best Super Bowl LVIII odds.
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