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Raiders expect to have Amari Cooper back against Eagles

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Kansas City Chiefs v Oakland Raiders Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Two weeks after Amari Cooper was writhing on the field screaming in pain after aggravating an ankle injury, the Raiders are looking to have him back on the field.

“Yeah, we hope to get him back to practice and have a good week of practice and then be ready to go on Monday night,” Del Rio said of Cooper before Thursday’s practice.

Even when he played in that game in Kansas City two weeks ago, he was clearly not himself. He was injured on the 15th play of the game and had seen just one target. On that play, he was beaten to his spot up the left sideline, showing his ineffectiveness.

Even if Cooper isn’t all the way back, the Raiders like him on the field for the attention he receives from opposing defenses.

“You’re covered differently when Coop isn’t demanding roll to him or attention that he normally gets,” Del Rio continued. “And not having Coop, you feel the difference because he’s such a dynamic, explosive playmaker for us.”

It seems clear the Raiders think Cooper is more valuable, even if only as a decoy, than the other receivers on the roster like Cordarrelle Patterson, Seth Roberts, Johnny Holton, or Isaac Whitney. His skillset gives other teams a lot more to think about.

“When people play Coop, they bracket him, they try and match him, they try and in and out him, they try to do a whole bunch of different things,” said Derek Carr. “When that doesn’t happen, the attention goes to Crab [Michael Crabtree], the attention goes to Jared [Cook] depending on the defensive personnel that they have.”

With Cooper out last week against the Cowboys, Michael Crabtree saw a career high 17 targets, catching a season high 7 passes with two touchdowns.

Cooper is currently sitting at 499 receiving yards this season in 12 starts for a career low 41.6 yards per game.