Sunday, May 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Eagles excuse Cooper from team activities amid slur controversy

PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles excused Riley Cooper from all team activities Friday as the wide receiver deals with repercussions of being caught on video making a racial slur.

Cooper, a former Clearwater Central Catholic and Florida standout, was sent away from the team to get help with his issues, something the player and the team agreed upon.

Coach Chip Kelly made it clear after practice, however, that Cooper would be back with the team when he's ready.

"There has never been any question of cutting Riley," Kelly said. "His status with us is not in question."

Cooper said the past few days have been difficult and he will step away to seek counseling.

"My actions were inexcusable," he said. "The more I think about what I did, the more disgusted I get. I keep trying to figure out how I could have said something so repulsive and what I can do to make things better."

Cooper apologized profusely Wednesday after a video of him using a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert in June surfaced on the Internet this week. The Eagles immediately fined him.

"Right now I think it's important for me to take some time to reflect on this situation," Cooper said. "The organization and my teammates have been extremely supportive, but I also realize that there are people who will have a tough time forgiving me for what I've done. The best thing for me, and for the team, is to step away for a period of time."

The Eagles did not set a timetable for Cooper's return.

Hernandez case: New court records say an associate of Aaron Hernandez told police the former Patriots and Florida tight end put guns in a box in his basement after returning from the industrial park where his friend was fatally shot. An affidavit released by Attleboro (Mass.) District Court says Carlos Ortiz told investigators Hernandez put firearms in the black box after Odin Lloyd's killing June 17. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in Lloyd's death.

Top Bills WR limping: Stevie Johnson left Bills practice after injuring his left hamstring. Buffalo's top receiver pulled up on a route during a red zone drill.

BROWNS: Running back Trent Richardson sat out practice a day after being kicked in the right shin.

Cowboys: Guard Nate Livings needs surgery on his knee for the second time in six months, espn.com reported.

CARDINALS: A knee injury that forced starting nose tackle Dan Williams out was deemed not serious and he said he expects to be sidelined only for a few days.

49ERS: Cornerback Chris Culliver will miss the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. He was injured Thursday during a noncontact drill. Also, veteran free agent receivers Austin Collie and Lavelle Hawkins signed one-year deals.

RAIDERS: Kicker Sebastian Janikowski, the franchise's leading scorer and a former Florida State standout, signed a four-year extension through 2017.

RAVENS: The league suspended cornerback Asa Jackson eight games without pay for a second violation of its performance-enhancing drug policy.

SEAHAWKS: Receiver Sidney Rice returned to practice but only as a spectator after flying to Europe to seek treatment on patella tendinitis in his knee. Also, veteran receiver Early Doucet agreed to terms, the NFL Network reported.

TITANS: Middle linebacker Colin McCarthy, a former Clearwater Central Catholic standout, will miss at least a week after hurting his right hamstring.

League move: Recently retired Ravens center Matt Birk replaced Art Shell as one of the league's two appeals officers, joining Ted Cottrell.

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