Wide receiver Riley Cooper returned to the Philadelphia Eagles Tuesday after a four-day excused absence to undergo sensitivity training after he was caught on film yelling a racial slur before a Kenny Chesney concert.
Cooper, in his fourth year out of the University of Florida, seemed remorseful during an eight-minute press conference with the media after the Eagles and New England Patriots began what will be a three-day practice routine before Friday night’s preseason opener.
“It’s great to be back doing what I love to do, play football,” Cooper said. “I realize being in the NFL you have responsibility to behave on and off the field. I realize that.”
Video of Cooper’s racial slur surfaced last Wednesday. He was immediately fined an undisclosed amount by the team, but was not suspended.
On Friday, Eagles coach Chip Kelly announced that Cooper was given time off to seek counseling. Four days later, he was back at practice and caught two touchdown passes against the Patriots’ defense.
“My concern wasn’t how he practiced,” Kelly said after practice. “It’s just him with the team itself and to get the chance to make sure he got to talk to every single guy so that they understood how we felt, what he did, and understand that he’s truly sorry for what he did.”
Cooper said he talked to every one of his teammates, face to face, and apologized.
Around the league
WR Arrelious Benn suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the Eagles’ season. … Mark Sanchez will start at quarterback over Geno Smith in the Jets’ preseason opener at Detroit on Friday night. Both quarterbacks will take snaps with the first-team offense. … Packers WR Jordy Nelson will miss the rest of training camp after undergoing a procedure on one of his knees. He might be ready for the Sept. 8 regular-season opener at San Francisco. …. The Packers have signed free agent Vince Young as a backup quarterback.