Amari Cooper expects to play with “cracked” rib

Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Getty Images

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy described Amari Cooper‘s ribs as “bruised” during a news conference earlier this week. The star receiver, though, indicated it was even worse than that.

“I think it’s cracked,” Cooper said Friday, via Rob Phillips of the team website.

Cooper expects to play the home opener Monday night against the Eagles.

“It’s getting better every day. I’ll be ready,” Cooper said.

Cooper said he initially injured his ribs on a touchdown catch in the season opener against the Bucs. He played through it last week, seeing action on 60 snaps, and called the injury “very manageable.”

He returned to a full practice Friday after being limited Thursday.

Cooper has missed only three games in seven seasons despite being a regular on the injury report. He has played through foot, quadriceps, ankle, knee and hamstring injuries in his time in Dallas and had offseason ankle surgery.

He said it is important to him to play, even if he’s not 100 percent.

“It depends on what you play for,” Cooper said, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “Me, I play to be the best. I want to be the best. To be the best, you have to play all the games . . . if you can because you’ve got to put up those numbers. I think you’ve got guys who might play for different reasons. They don’t mind missing games and stuff, because they don’t necessarily want to be the best.”

Through two games, Cooper leads the team in catches (16) and receiving touchdowns (two).