ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders will be without wide receiver Amari Cooper for Sunday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Cooper aggravated a left ankle injury during last week’s loss to Kansas City after sitting out the previous game because of the same injury and a concussion.
The two-time Pro Bowl receiver has not practiced at all this week, although Raiders coach Jack Del Rio sounded optimistic.
“I think he’s better than he was but he’s going to be out this week,” Del Rio said Friday. “I think we have a chance to get him back.”
Cooper had played in 43 consecutive games to begin his career before injuring his ankle and suffering a concussion against Denver on Nov. 26 after getting hit by Broncos safety Darian Stewart. Cooper re-injured the same ankle last week while blocking during a running play against the Chiefs, the latest setback in what has been an up-and-down year both for him and Oakland’s offense.
The fourth overall pick in 2015, Cooper is third on the team with 42 catches for 499 yards and five touchdowns. The majority of his production came in one game when he had 11 receptions for 210 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas City on Oct. 19. Cooper has also had ongoing problems with dropped passes, an issue that has plagued him since his rookie season.
Cooper’s status adds to Oakland’s already lengthy injury list.
Defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. has been ruled out with an ankle injury and tight end Clive Walford will sit out because of a concussion and neck injury.
Additionally, rookie Obi Melifonwu will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing hip surgery Thursday.
Melifonwu missed most of training camp with a knee injury and opened the regular season on injured reserve. He was activated in Week 9 but was relegated to special teams each of the past two games.
“I can’t tell you exactly when that occurred,” Del Rio said. “I think it’s been a little bit that he’s been working with. It required surgery. He’s had it so he’ll be out.”
With Melifonwu headed for injured reserve, Oakland plans to activate defensive back Antonio Hamilton off IR. Hamilton had been out with a knee injury since midseason.
The news was a little more encouraging for cornerback David Amerson.
Amerson has missed six games because of a right mid-foot sprain, although the veteran cornerback appears to be making significant progress. He did not practice Friday but worked out with a trainer, doing agility and hopping drills.
If Amerson plays, it would be a boost for the NFL’s 25th-ranked pass defense. Opposing quarterbacks are completing nearly 70 percent of their throws against the Raiders while averaging 241.2 yards a game.
“He’s doubtful this weekend and we’ll see,” Del Rio said of Amerson. “We hope to get him back. Obviously he’s a good player for us.”
Notes: Tight end Jared Cook was cleared after being limited the past two days with a wrist injury. Defensive lineman Denico Autry (hand/ankle), safety Keith McGill (knee) and guard Jon Feliciano (concussion) were limited and are questionable.
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