When Chris Cooley trotted out of the tunnel on Sunday, his injured knee finally felt great. Maybe not 100 percent, but good enough to play, and that’s all that he needed.
“I’m not willing to miss time for this team or sit out,” Cooley said after the game on Monday. ”I made a huge commitment to getting better and doing everything that I could on my part. I was so pleased with what I was able to do in the game yesterday.”
And he should.
In just his 104th career game, Cooley snagged his Redskins record-tying and record-breaking receptions for a Redskins tight end. His 422 career-receptions surpasses the great Jerry Smith of the 1960s and 70′s, and he is only one reception away from passing Bob Tucker and Jay Novacek for 20th all-time in the NFL.
All of this for a player who could not practice in the training camp, could not play in the preseason games, and reported to the media that team doctors thought he could be out until “Week 3 or 4.”
“To be on the field at all was a big accomplishment for me,” Cooley said, cracking a smile. ”And for only practicing one day in this preseason, really, I played really well.”
Cooley finished the day on Sunday with two grabs for 21 yards, both coming on scoring drives by the Redskins. Unless you knew the struggles of his preseason, he looked like the familiar No. 47 on the gridiron.
But Sunday wasn’t about Cooley, and he wasn’t going to put personal accomplishments over a big team win.
“I know a lot of guys are saying this, and it’s still early, but there something special happening in our locker room right now,” he said. ”And I’m not willing to not be a part of that.”
Congratulations Chris, and here’s hoping for another 422 receptions.
Check out the video of his media session below:
Tags: 2011 season, Chris Cooley, injury, washington redskins
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