Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.
Cooper suffered a concussion and sprained left ankle after being hit by Denver safety Darian Stewart in the first half of last week’s 21-14 win over the Broncos. Cooper had to be helped off the field and he limped out of the Raiders locker room after the game. He was eventually put into the NFL’s concussion protocol.
Oakland coach Jack Del Rio declined to say whether Cooper was still in the concussion protocol or if it was the sprained ankle that is the bigger issue. Cooper walked through the locker room Friday without a limp or his walking boot and was in good spirits but did not speak to reporters.
While the Raiders offense will be without one of its key players, the defensive secondary is hopeful of getting starting cornerback David Amerson back.
Amerson has missed four consecutive games with a sprained foot but returned to practice this week. Although he has been limited and is listed as questionable, the fifth-year veteran said he expects to play against the Giants.
“Until they tell me otherwise,” Amerson said. “I’m feeling good. This is the best I’ve felt, put it like that.”
The Raiders are 27th in pass defense and are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete a league-high 70.8 percent of passes — nearly 10 points higher than the NFL average.
Part of the issue has been injuries.
First-round draft pick Gareon Conley missed all of training camp with a shin injury, played in only two games and was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Nov. 13. Second-round pick Obi Melifonwu also sat out camp and has played sparingly since coming off injured reserve after sitting out the first eight games.
Sean Smith, the team’s top free agent acquisition two years ago, has also been in and out of the lineup due to performance.
Amerson is eager to return.
“Sitting there watching plays to be made, it’s real frustrating,” Amerson said. “I ain’t never had an injury that kept me out like this.”
Del Rio sounded optimistic about Amerson’s status, although the cornerback is still questionable on the injury report.
“He’s back involved and practicing,” Del Rio said. “That’s still a question mark for us. It was good to have him back out moving around.”
The Raiders secondary also got some good news earlier this week when backup cornerback Antonio Hamilton returned to practice after going on injured reserve with a knee injury. Oakland has two weeks to decide whether to add Hamilton to the 53-man roster or keep him on IR for the remainder of the season.