Smith was asked whether Cooks will play in the team’s next game, at the Giants.
“He is going to be in the building tomorrow, and everybody that’s in the building on a football team,” Smith told reporters. “He will be back on the team ready to go tomorrow.”
That’s not a no. It’s not a yes. And it was an easy yes-or-no question.
Smith also was asked whether Cooks will remain a team captain. Last night, tackle Laremy Tunsil inherited the “C” on the jersey.
“You know what, guys, I think we’ve talked enough about it,” Smith said. “Brandin didn’t play, all right? I told you he will be back in the building tomorrow. If you want to talk about the game, we can do that. As far as the captain, we have two offensive captains each game. Today [Laremy Tunsil] was our captain. I thought he represented the team well.”
Cooks may no longer want to represent the team, or associate with it. As explained on Thursday, however, Cooks could forfeit his $18 million guaranteed salary for 2023 if he fails to practice or play without the permission of the team. And if he were to decide to just retire, the Texans would be able to recover most of the $16 million signing bonus he received as part of a contract that was too good for the player to get another team to assume it via trade.