Amari Cooper was a stud receiver for the Oakland Raiders in his first two years. He posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and looked like an elite WR. But so far in 2017, he’s been a dud, with just 13 catches for 118 yards, putting him on pace to finish with 42 catches for 378 yards and three touchdowns.
It’s not all on him as he was only targeted twice last Sunday against the Ravens, despite breaking wide open at least twice.
“I wouldn’t say it was by design to have him not have him get more targets,” Head coach Jack Del Rio said this week. “The read went away from him a couple times. A couple of times, it went to him. I’d like to see him get the ball more. To me it’s about execution right now. I’m not going to sit here and get into how, why, individuals aren’t getting or doing. I don’t see where that’s going to help us.”
But at the same time, Cooper could have done more with the opportunities he’s had. It all starts with catching the ball and he leads the NFL in dropped passes (7).
But QB Derek Carr, who’s expected to be back this week, has to stay with him. The offense isn’t as explosive when Cooper isn’t making plays. Here in Week 6 against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Raiders offense needs him to come out of his funk. But will he?
His four games against the Chargers so far have shown that he can go either way.
In 2015 in his first meeting as a rookie, he lit the Chargers up with five catches for 133 yards and a TD. Then in his second game against them that year, he caught two passes for 10 yards.
We know that in that second game against the Chargers he was playing through an ankle injury. This season he has been dealing with a knee issue and was limited in practice this week.
In 2016, he had six catches for 138 yards and a TD to go with it in his first game against them, but had just one catch for 28 yards in their second meeting.
This is a hard one to predict.
Fantasy League owners that own Cooper have no clue what to do with him this week. And Raiders fans will be at the edges of their seats, hoping he breaks out of this slump.
Will Amari Cooper break out of his slump Sunday against the Chargers?
This poll is closed
Editor’s note: Levi Damien contributed to this article.