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So What Exactly Did Riley Cooper Do During His Excused Absence?

Aug 6, 2013, 6:51 PM EDT


I think everybody was a little surprised to hear Riley Cooper was already returning to practice on Tuesday, at least people outside the Philadelphia Eagles organization. Cooper was excused from training camp last Friday so he could “seek counseling” after video surfaced of the wide receiver using a racial slur during an alcohol-fueled tirade.

The team never put a timetable on Cooper’s return, but it felt like he would be away for awhile, at least until after the first preseason game however arbitrary that may seem. All told the fourth-year veteran was gone for four days, missing just three practices. I mean, how much emotional help can one receive in such a short amount of time?

Perhaps Cooper’s counseling, sensitivity training, or what have you was blown out of proportion in the first place. The 25 year old wasn’t necessarily trying to uncover the deep, underlying causes behind his outburst as it turns out, nor did he even require the advice of professionals exclusively. While he wasn’t willing to delve too deep in the details, it turns out Cooper may have simply needed time to reflect and talk it out, possibly leaning heavily on family members during the process.


“I just went out and sought help. I talked to my family and sought help. I’m going to keep that between me and the others that are helping out. It went well.”

“We just talked about the situation and how big this is. I realize that and I realize how many people I’ve hurt, how many families I’ve hurt, how many kids I’ve hurt. That’s what we talked about, the severity of it and I completely realize that and I take full responsibility for it.”

I asked Chip Kelly about what type of specialists Cooper might have been visiting or speaking to during his absence, but the head coach responded by telling me it was not his place to divulge that information. One area where the embattled receiver admitted he had not sought further intervention however was for alcohol abuse.

“We didn’t really touch on that, but I’m not going to get into all that we talked about. I’m just going to try to move forward and hopefully people judge me from here on out.”

So what exactly did Riley Cooper do during his excused absence? Well, that’s still not entirely clear. There is no doubt some type of counseling was involved, but mostly it sounds like it was a period for reflection. In the meantime, his absence presented the other 88 players on the Birds’ roster an opportunity to get back to normal for a few days and focus on football. Sure enough, while Cooper’s return was a top story on Tuesday, there was plenty more to discuss with the Patriots in town for joint practices.

Coop, by the way, was one of the standouts in practice, hauling in multiple long touchdown passes against the New England defense from both Mike Vick and Nick Foles.

  1. MrDioji - Aug 6, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Good. Maybe we can move on now. Story over.

  2. BenE. - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    I said last week that Cooper’s “counseling” was being overblown and was told by none other than Kulp that it wasn’t being overblown and that Cooper should dig deep into his personal life and figure out why he said what he said, and even suggested alcohol treatment. And here we are, one week later, and Kulp suggests Cooper’s counseling was overblown and it had nothing to do with alcohol treatment or anything else.

    • Andrew Kulp - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:32 PM

      Ha, that’s not quite the discussion we were having, Ben. You said the idea he needed to be excused from the team at all to seek counseling was over the top, and I said I didn’t see what the problem was, or would have been, with Riley speaking to some professionals after this incident. It was less a prediction or suggestion than it was a defense of whatever steps were being taken. You took issue with his leaving the team over this, I didn’t just come out and say he needed to or was definitely going to do these things.

      • BenE. - Aug 7, 2013 at 12:19 AM

        I know I’m just f*cking around.

        My Yinzer buddies were sure Cooper was done with the Birds and I, among many others I’m sure, told them he’d be back “next week” after taking a step back. I’m glad the team can be professionals together and move past it. We’ve got 5 football games to win this year.

    • Jesus - Aug 7, 2013 at 12:01 AM

      Dude youre a fu.ckin loser. No one cares about one of the 27 snotty comments you leave on every article on this site because you have no life. Grow up.

      • Dad - Aug 7, 2013 at 12:27 AM

        Jesus, chill the fuck out. This was not how I raised you my son. Stop being such a twat over people arguing on the internet, you have much more important things to do like pretending to be the son of god.

      • Mother Mary - Aug 7, 2013 at 9:04 AM

        Who are you talkin raised? You knocked me up without the pleasure of sex and left me as a single parent. And now you see the things I had to deal with.

      • BenE. - Aug 7, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        Ah, I missed these days.

  3. greymares - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    visited mom and dad

  4. Jayb79 - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Riley, for your punishment you get to spend the weekend in Florida with pay… If I were a teammate I would be letting slurs fly freely so I could “go do some soul-searching” too.

    • Please don't be about Trayvon - Aug 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

  5. psudrozz - Aug 7, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    riley went to tolerance camp. got it.

  6. Chris - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Crap, now Domowitch is saying Cooper has an alcohol problem. Dude, if getting stupid drunk at a concert means you have an alcohol problem, then the majority of people who have ever been to a concert have an alcohol problem.


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