FRISCO, Texas – The longer a Pro Bowl player goes without practicing, the more speculation there's bound to be.
That's been the case for Amari Cooper, who hasn't practiced since Aug. 3 while he works through a foot injury. The problem was originally classified as a heel bruise by Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, but it has come out recently that Cooper is dealing with plantar fasciitis.
Fortunately, Cooper cleared up some of the speculation on Tuesday. The Pro Bowl receiver spoke to reporters at his locker after practice, where he classified the pain in his foot as a three on a scale of 1-10.
"Like I said, it's not really that bad – especially just walking around," he said. "But to do the things that I do on the field, obviously, I'll be cutting really hard, stopping really hard, those things. I haven't tried to really do that, so I couldn't really tell you."
That helps explain why the Cowboys have been cautious not to bring Cooper back too quickly. Few things are more important to a wide receiver than his feet, so it could be problematic to put too much stress on them at this early point in the year.
"I do a lot of stretching and a lot of treatment, but it's not a big deal," Cooper said.
Cooper added that he thinks the injury is "subsiding," and he doesn't think he'll have to play through it this season. After all, it's a fairly good bet he won't be featured in any of the Cowboys' remaining preseason games, giving him added time to rest.
Even if the injury is slow to heal, though, it doesn't sound like Cooper is too worried about it either way. This isn't the first time he has dealt with plantar fasciitis, and he said it hasn't stopped him from being productive. He battled the issue during his sophomore season at Alabama in 2013 and finished with 45 catches for 736 yards and four touchdowns.
He also went to a Pro Bowl while dealing with plantar fasciitis. He caught 72 passes for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns while battling the injury as a rookie in 2015.
"I'm not worried about it at all, because I know if it does linger, it doesn't matter," he said. "I had 1,000 yards on a plantar fasciitis foot, so I'm not really worried."